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Wednesday, 10 November 2021

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol at The Nottingham Playhouse

Adapted by Mark Gatiss and directed by Adam Penford this classic Charles Dickens tale is revived once again at the Nottingham Playhouse and spookier than ever. 

Set in Victorian London we are introduced to Gattis’ Jacob Marley and Nicholas Farrell as Ebenezer Scrooge himself. Farrell does a phenomenal job in this iconic role, displaying all the best qualities of a character you will start by hating and leave with a strange love for. His sarcastic wit is refreshing and Ebenezer's transformation is undoubtedly heartwarming. 

The ghosts were diverse and all extremely intriguing, all playing their parts in showing us the past, present and future. Merit to the company that all shone individually and as an ensemble playing many roles between them. Edward Harrison was a particularly lovable Bob Cratchit whilst Joe Shire portrayed a captivating Ghost of Christmas Present. 

Thursday, 4 February 2021

REVIEW: On Record for the Living Record Festival Online

As part of the Living Record Festival, Cameron Essam and Ella Dorman-Gajic bring us ‘On Record’ a new audio thriller. 

Behind the scenes of a radio show the cast and crew take a break on recording. We overhear conversations with actor Naomi, who plays Mona, and a male director who sounds menacing from the get go. It is obvious that something is not as it seems but it remains unclear if the secrets are between the recording team themselves or the characters they portray.

Recording resumes and it becomes apparent the radio show centres around a woman’s refuge. With the cliché backdrop of a heavy rain, Hannah arrives at the refuge looking for somewhere to stay. Mona, a support worker, attempts to question her on the circumstances that led to her arrival but Hannah is reluctant to offer up any information and so she is shown to bed and left to her own devices. It is clear that something mysterious is going on but we are left to wait and listen…

Before we know it we are deep in Hannah’s story and speeding through the drama surrounding domestic abuse. Script and memory soon blend into one and thanks to some excellent sound design it is seriously gripping right until the end. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

REVIEW: Public Domain at the Southwark Playhouse (Online)

“We came here to find friends, and just like that I felt a little less alone” 

Poignant lyrics from the opening of Public Domain a new musical which looks at online connections. 

Written and performed by Francesca Forristal and Jordan Paul Clarke, this new two-hander musical takes you on a journey through the world of social media following 2 vloggers and featuring some unapologetic Facebook satire. 

The show is written entirely using online content such as tweets, Youtube videos and Instagram posts. Every lyric and line is taken directly from the internet and social media whilst following the two aspiring influencers who feel surprisingly relatable. The teenage characters both contain attributes we probably all encompass in one way or another and give an unfiltered insight into the positives and negatives of the online world. 

REVIEW: Broken Link for the Living Record Festival Online

Broken Link is one of many pieces on offer as part of The Living Record Festival an online showcase of comedy, plays, films, immersive theatre and much more, all available to stream online. 

In a year where relationships went more digital than ever, the show takes us into a live video chat between 4 friends as they catch up on the anniversary of Ellie’s suicide. 

It starts slow and frankly a little awkward as we watch each character join the chat. Before we know it a fifth, anonymous person joins the chat and simply begins messaging via the chat. The friends are obviously rattled and as the drama unfolds the friends test the unknown participate in a bid to identify them. 

Is it Ellie herself or is this someone playing a cruel joke? 

Monday, 21 December 2020

REVIEW: D!CK The Adult Panto at the Guildford Fringe (Online)

In a year full of uncertainty, one thing you can be certain of is that the Guildford Fringe production of ‘D!CK the Adult Panto’ will leave no innuendo unspoken.

Without doubt the most obvious choice for an adult pantomime but writers James Chalmers, Nick Wyschna and Charlotte Bateup do step up to the plate by adding plenty of risqué comedy and on the line humour that is perfectly relevant for 2020. 

The witty one-liners, political quips and ingeniously raunchy references are perfectly questionable and there’s much more than dick jokes alone. 

The musical choices throughout provided some old school nostalgia with both musical and pop numbers from the last 3 decades. The lyrical rewrites are clever and imaginative but be prepared to never hear those songs in the same way again.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

REVIEW: Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley

You could be forgiven for assuming that the stage show of the classic 70’s sitcom ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’ would stick so closely to its television roots that it could miss the mark with the new age, comedy loving, audiences of 2020 but you would be wrong. 

The stage adaptation surrounding a day in the life of the, much loved, chaotic, and unintentionally witty Frank Spencer (complete with signature beret and trench coat) is a laugh a minute from start to finish. 

Written by Guy Unsworth & Raymond Allen and directed by Guy Unsworth himself, the production begins its 2020 tour at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. The show begins with the classic theme tune which pays homage to the original TV series. The theatrical revival begins much like the 1970’s episodes. The vicar is coming round, Frank’s had another failed day looking for work and his loving but worrier wife Betty is at home with big news that she is expecting.
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