REVIEWS


Post a Review
Facebook Message DramaGroups, Tweet @DramaGroups or email
Outlook users Click Here

or email to contact@dramagroups.com subject 'Drama Groups - Reviews'
include: Reviewer; Website; Region/County; Contact; Production; Review don't forget to attach photos & logo




All opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. www.dramagroups.com takes no responsibility for content or accuracy of any review.
Please remember when posting a review that it will be visible to the public.

Personhood at The Columbia University School of the Arts

Reviewed by: Deepak Sinha

Reviewed 14th June 2019

After responding to an online ad, Kyle sublets Sarah’s spare bedroom. The more time they spend together, the more they fall in love.

The only problem: they never actually meet.

What neither realizes is that there is an anonymous third person who lives with them and pretends to be both Sarah and Kyle, alternately absorbing and reflecting each one’s traits.

Personhood asks, what does it mean to really know someone? Is it their story? Their sense of humor? Their body?

Can these things be separated? Duplicated?

What does it really mean to be a person?

Historically, many different groups of people have been considered less than human, not deserving of full rights and dignities under the laws or social structures of the time. Personhood looks at this concept anew, peering around our modern day and wondering, are there others among us whom we will one day consider to be people just like us, and look back ashamed that we once treated them as less?

As the characters in the play grapple with what it means to connect with another person, the audience is left wondering which of them are even truly human — and whether that matters when it comes to love.

Where:HERE ARTS CENTER, 145 , 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10013-1548

When: Jul 2-7

Time: 80 minutes

Book Tickets here: https://ci.ovationtix.com/219/production/1012191

 

Posted on 15/06/2019

 

A live theatre piece from the students of American School of Bombay and Akanksha! [INDIA]

Reviewed by: RASA AUR DRAMA TIMES www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Reviewed 13th June 2019

A beautiful drive down from Pune to Mumbai at the ASB blackbox theatre, to witness a student production. And, let me happily tell you the black box is quite a scenographic setting for playmaking.

In Mumbai, Rangaai Theatre Company performs at a Black Box, sometimes. It was quite charming to see the kids prepare mirrors and scenographic works for their verbatim theatre piece. By the end of the play, I came to understand that the production was a collaboration between teachers and kids.

I was reminded of some scenographic works that I have seen in Pune; Girish Karnad's NAGMANDALA at Vinod Doshi Festival came to my mind. The kids before and after the play were using the theatre space so naturally without actually maybe thinking about the difference between a proscenium space and black box! It's a solid introduction to kids to the art of play-making, expression, voice and more and more.

MOVEMENT

What surprised me further was the dis-arrayed movement of all the kids on stage. The fractured entry and exit, with the mirror as sets , and a voice over. The piece was a movement between theatre, storytelling, narration, scenography and an open mic. The teachers at the school did a good enough job to slide this array of storytelling and different art forms in one gamut of experience THEATRE. The piece also kind of revolved around dialogues, responses in the mics. Many, many professional theatre groups in Pune and Mumbai are yet to use the medium of voice explicitly. The kids at the school made a healthy and ample use of sound or voice as an exploration of acting! I somehow felt the learning process and the story revolved around the voice; for which I would say the production draws into strong theatre traditions.

SPEECH

The speech of the kids was natural and I didn't find any attempt to make their accents unnecessarily foreign. Indian kids sounded like home and so did the kids with the American language.

A very strong sense of consciousness and responsibility emerged from each student's piece; which they carried in a very casual way!

The piece revolved around questioning, identifying sharing relationships in a family from a gamut of angles; in weird and funny postures and fractured entries!

FAMILY MATTERS was a live theatre piece with a strong sense of individuality and unity in a voice! Along with the kids' director ROBERT THORBURN has created an engaging live theatre piece!

See the full review here https://www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Rasaaurdrama preview section is your best, most complete guide for all the theatre/films , big and small, coming your way soon.
E-mail at: rasaaurdrama@gmail.com

 

Posted on 15/06/2019

 

THE LIFE I LEAD and Miles Jupp! [WYNDHAM’S THEATRE London ]

Reviewed by: RASA AUR DRAMA TIMES www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Reviewed 13th June 2019

Best remembered for playing Mr Banks in Disney’s classic film Mary Poppins, David Tomlinson was renowned for playing the classic English gent, forthright, proper, and a loveable fool.

THE LIFE I LEAD sees Miles Jupp, one of Britain’s leading comics and actors (Mock the Week, The News Quiz, Rev, The Durrells) bring his remarkable story to life, in a richly comic and moving tale which fills in the blanks behind a very well-known face.

Following a hugely successful UK tour, THE LIFE I LEAD transfers to the West End for 8 performances only.


See the full review here https://www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Rasaaurdrama preview section is your best, most complete guide for all the theatre/films , big and small, coming your way soon.
E-mail at: rasaaurdrama@gmail.com

 

Posted on 15/06/2019

 

Rabindranath Tagore's Jibito-Mrito adapted by Ingenium Theatre

Reviewed by: RASA AUR DRAMA TIMES www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Reviewed 13th June 2019

Ingenium Theatre Studio adapted a Rabindranath Tagore story into Hindi and gave the audience something to experience. The show somehow stood with the script of justifying it first irrespective of what the audience is expecting, when coming to watch a play. A lot of work went into the design and the scenework was changed by the director Shrikant Gadge from the previous show;Powerful music, apt lights! The lead protagonist was able to Bring out that Tagorean-artistic-rasa-of-immense-pain-and-longing. The actor has come to be more realistic and responsive to space, stage and fellow actors.

The story of JIBITO-MRITO takes you to a widow who has been abandoned by society. The play translated as Living and Dead, presents a young, childless widow, Kadambini, who is believed by others, and at first believes herself, to be dead, existing in the world only as a ghost.It is a sensitive story about love, betrayal ,and superstitions. In this story, the widow’s existence is compared to that of a departed spirit or ghost (pret in hindi). The whole story revolves around Kadambini, who has to live a miserable life to prove herself a normal living being.

See the full review here https://www.rasaaurdrama.com/

Rasaaurdrama preview section is your best, most complete guide for all the theatre/films , big and small, coming your way soon.
E-mail at: rasaaurdrama@gmail.com

 

Posted on 15/06/2019

 

Pictures of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Adapted by Lucy Shaw

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 13th June 2019

Venue: Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6ST

The production is running from 6th June to 5th July 2019

Upon arriving at the impressive 70 seater Jermyn Street Theatre you are met by a fantastic array of production photographs and the extremely enigmatic designed poster of Pictures of Dorian Gray.

The gothic horror is bought to life in this new production of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The cast of four in turn during different performance nights advertised as a,b,c and d take on each of the roles of all the main characters.

Tonight’s performance was led by the two female cast members Helen Rueben and Augustina Seymour as the roles of Dorian Gray and Henry Wotton. As pictured below in the D production cast photograph of this play, the whole cast schedule can be seen at the bottom of the review. Both ladies gave an extremely strong and fascinating performance.

Their role cast changes didn’t detract from the storyline in any way. The suspension of disbelief was ever present with few gender change references made throughout the performance. Which allows you to concentrate on the depth and intrigue of the storyline.

The dramatic black costumes were extremely well designed for each character. The rich black velvet dress and bolero style jacket adorning Dorian Gray were befitting of the status and wealth of the character. Emily Stuart’s eye for detail with the costume designs is very impressive and adds another depth to this production visually. I am not surprised she has twice won the Offwestend award for best costume.

The stage is dressed by two large weathered mirrors. One reflecting water where the famous portrait is housed of Dorian Gray. However, this takes the form of the reflection of the character as they sit and look at themselves. An interesting twist on art imitating life, in this case, the real actor in performance D.

The stage itself is lit by a selection of hanging lights with are controlled individually and light up each character one at a time as they are the main focus on the stage. Adding another well placed dramatic effect visually.

The highly accomplished ensemble of four all showed a great ability in working together around the stage with ease. Each one I can imagine being able to take each of the four roles and make it their own without any hesitation and be word perfect.

Tom Littler has taken one of literature’s most flamboyant and controversial writers of his generation and added his own twist. The production runs smoothly and I would be as bold to say Oscar Wilde would have enjoyed this version of his novel too.

Four Stars.

Cast
Richard Keightley
Helen Reuben
Augustina Seymour
Stanton Wright
Production Team
Director- Tom Littler
Set and lighting Designer-William Reynolds
Sound Designer-Matt Eaton
Costume Designer-Emily Stuart
Movement/Assistant Director-Julia Cave
Production Manager-Philip Geller
Stage Manager-Emily Lawes
Assistant Costume Designer-Eleanor Tipler
Production Photography-Samuel Taylor
Set Construction-Top Show
Rehearsal Photographer & Trailer-Anna Urik
Film Trailer-Ricky J Payne.
Lucy Shaw would like to dedicate this play to the memory of Stephen Jeffreys.

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 15/06/2019

 

River in the Sky by Peter Taylor

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 30th May 2019

Venue: Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town

Approaching a topic such as grief after the loss of a baby and multiple miscarriages is a difficult and triggering subject to write about and put on stage. As director Peter Taylor likes to tackle difficult and ambitious subjects this is a piece I would expect from him. For as a young writer/director he certainly pushes himself and this play is no exception.

As the couple played by Howard Horner and Lindsay Cross grieve the loss of their long-awaited baby. Neither can find comfort in one another and bounce off one another verbally each time they meet after she moves out of their home and retreats to her families owned place by the sea to try and come to terms with her loss.

The “bittersweet escapism from their mourning” manifests into storytelling, some of the stories are surreal in places and can be unnecessary. I understand their importance from the character’s perspective. However, they lose the dramatic effect with the quantity that has been packed into the play.

In one scene when the couple is writhing on the floor fighting an imaginary monster. It felt as if the play descended into a student practice production piece as appose to a professional off west end theatre production.

The role played by Cross as a grieving Mother did not altogether come over that convincingly. There felt to be something missing through her performance. Grief is an extremely personal experience and there are no rules on how someone should behave while going through the process. However, with the right actor, you can feel every emotion with them and for me, that part was missing.

Upon reading the press release and knowing how talented the director, Taylor is. I was expecting something very good but sadly this isn’t one of his best pieces on the stage. With some redrafting and some careful editing, this has great potential to be a very powerful play.

Three Stars.

Cast
Lindsay Cross
Howard Horner.
Technician- Rose Hockaday
Assistant Director-Tess Angus
Company Manager- Caroline Arundel
Written and Directed by Peter Taylor.

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 01/06/2019

 

Mama G’s Story Time Roadshow by Robert Pearce

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 25th May 2019

Venue: Lion and Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town

Welcome to the stage Mama G the fantastic Pantomime Dame one person show, all the glitz and glamour that encompasses the character are here in the fabulous storytelling show. One of the most entertaining and extremely funny performances I have seen in a while.

Mama G takes centre stage in a solo storytelling show to entertain audiences of all ages. That certainly lives up to the claim made on her flyer and adverts.

The main theme running through the entire 90-minute show is to be who you want to be and to encourage those around you to be themselves too. Anything that promotes self-belief and positivity has my full support.

The funny to date flossing and “twerking” dance competition with an endearing puppet show about Eunice the Horse/Unicorn are extremely funny.

Each of the five stories told during the show is based on the main characters learning to become who they want to be in life and each ends with a moral.

The tribute song by the eccentric fabulous singer and actor Paloma Faith sung by Mama G encouraged the audience to join in with the song. Bringing the auditorium together.

An exceptionally well written and directed feel-good show that leaves you feeling uplifted.

When a 14-year-old who isn’t a theatre fan tells you they are really enjoying themselves, that’s incredibly high praise indeed.

Five Stars.

Written by Robert Pearce
Directed by Amèe Smith
www.petitepantos.com

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 26/05/2019

 

Return to Hackney by Panayiota Panteli

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 24th May 2019

22nd May-1st June 2019

Venue: Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, Camden N11 1TT

“Warehousing” people with care needs is the name coined by the Guardian for cutting the care costs bill by the government. Inspired by a real-life experience, Back to Hackney by Panayiota Panteli has been written to reflect the real-life crisis taking place when councils refuse to adapt people’s homes for them to live as independently as they can.

As the cutbacks hit disabled members of the community. This is reflected in this stories heart wrenching tale of Georgia’s life-changing accident, where she is paralysed and left wheelchair-bound changes the families life as they know it.

23-year-old Sophia and 19 years old Alexandra face the reality of becoming their Mums full-time carer. But only if Hackney Council will adapt her flat to assist her living needs to allow her to use her wheelchair. The same home the family have lived in for the past twenty years.

Sophia’s reaction is one of anger and resentment. In many ways, an understandable response as she realises her own life will now change beyond recognition, and all because in Sophia”s eyes her Mother was irresponsible when drunk.

Alexandra, on the other hand, cannot understand her sister’s response and just wants her Mum at home. She sets about campaigning to the council and eventually wins to get the adaptations done for them to live together again.

As the situation becomes more intense at times during the play the daughters often descend into bitter arguments and conflicts.

Teresa Taylor’s performance as Mum Georgia is outstanding. Her battle to use the newly acquired motorised wheelchair through the traffic cones, learning to use a spoon and applying her own make-up.

The cast of five staged a heartfelt, eye-opening and thought to provoke performance. Panteli’s writing captures you with her uncomfortable truth surrounding cutbacks, the warmth and dedication from the overstretched staff in the NHS and the true meaning of being a family.

Any play that tackles poignant and injust social issues with this level of conviction and sensitive understanding deserves a lot of credit.

Four Stars

Writer/Director-Panayiota Panteli

Cast
Carla-Lucy Christy
Alexandra-Anna Antoniades
Sophia-Kathryn Perkins
Georgia-Teresa Zaylor
Vasilis-Panos Savvides

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 26/05/2019

 

Dream of a King by Christopher Tajah

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 22nd May 2019

The revised shortened Fringe edition of this fantastic production hasn’t lost any of the power and conviction in its delivery as the incredible story of the life about Martin Luther King unfolds. Christopher Tajah’s passion and delivery in the performance that he has written, directed and stars in is a truly moving show to see.

Touching on American black history with the incredible defiance of Rosa Parkes when she refused to give up her seat on a public bus. Such a huge turning point in the movement towards equality.

The wonderful voice of reggae recording star Paulette Tajah singing the title song welcomes you into the performance.

Set on the fateful evening of his assassination. Tajah begins at the end of the story and takes the audience back through a whistle-stop journey of some of the remarkable events Martin Luther King had achieved and been a major part of throughout his remarkable life.

The love and respect he held for his own Father who had been a well-respected Pastor and the devotion he felt towards his wife Coretta and their four children were delivered in heartfelt sermon style bursts of monologue. The respect is mirrored by Tajah’s outstanding performance of this great black iconic figure in history.

With so many layers packed neatly into this performance of under sixty minutes, there doesn’t appear to be any feeling of Tajah rushing the story on at any point. Which could easily have been the case!

Sadly as with all activists they often attract unwanted attention and can become feared by government agencies. He was no exception and was labelled “most notorious liar in the Country” by the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. With the permission of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy – the FBI tapped King’s home and office phones obsessively.

This is definitely a must see Fringe production.

Four and a half stars.

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 22/05/2019

 

Testament by Sam Edmunds

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 17th May 2019

14th May-1st June

Venue: The Hope Theatre, 207 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1RL

The Hope Theatre with the Artistic Director and “Offies” winner Matthew Parker at the helm, hosts an excellent quality of hard-hitting and challenging Theatre productions. Sam Edmunds was in extremely hands as he brings his award-winning debut play Testament to this intimate theatre space found in the heart of Highbury and Islington.

Testament pushes your senses and emotions to an extremely heightened level of intensity. Finding the dark corners of mental illness which in this play has been bought on by grief and the inability to let Tess go. As we watch Max’s mind descend into despair which he still searches for her among the shadows. Not allowing himself to grieve as he wants to believe she is still out there alive and waiting for him.

Max played by Nicholas Shalebridge delivers a fast-paced heart rendering performance as he battles with severe depression and a now failed suicide attempt months after the death of his girlfriend Tess played by Jessica Frances. The play begins in the hospital where his condition is deteriorating rapidly and receiving the correct treatment is a race against time.

His brother Chris watches as his brother struggles through the immense pain. While he too battles with his own conscience and guilt. When asked to sign the hospital consent form in order to release the pressure on his brain from the fluid building up from the fall, he is keen for Max to be coherent enough to complete the task himself.

The fantastic lighting effects raise the senses as you see an outstanding performance by Shalebridge as his character battles with convulsions possibly an epileptic fit, as he relives moments from the fatal accident in his mind. Often talking to Tess and believing he is still living the memories that are consuming him.

The simple but extremely effective props used for the car accident memories are an absolute touch of genius. We see two damaged front panels of the car with working headlights used to simulate the car crash being manoeuvred by other cast members. As Max relives the fateful crash during the play piecing bits together as the play progresses. It’s only towards the end that we discover the truth about how and why the crash happened!

I really enjoyed the added element to the play where Jesus and Lucifer battle with words to influence which path Max will take next. Both of whom only happen to appear when his depression has taken hold and Max then seems to be existing in another dimension.

Upon speaking to Edmunds after press night he disclosed that “Shalebridge never wanted to be an actor…” if his performance in Testament is anything to go by it was definitely his calling in life as he has an incredible talent.

With many deeply sad moments and an extremely talented cast, this is certainly worth going to watch. Just be prepared to be emotionally challenged by some of the themes covered within the play.

Four Stars.

Cast
Max-Nicholas Shalebridge
Tess-Jessica Frances
Chris-William Shackleton
Doctor-Shireenah Ingram
Jesus-David Angland
Lucifer-Daniel Leadbitter
Written by Sam Edmunds.
Producer-Vikesh Godhwani
Director-Sam Edmunds and William Harrison
Designer-Becca White
Lighting Designer-Alan Walden
Sound Designer-William Harrison
Assistant Director-Hannah Benson

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 17/05/2019

 

A Life Sentence by Eleanor Byrne

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 5th May 2019

5th and 6th May 2019

Venue: Cat Back Theatre, London SW18 1NN

Eleanor Byrne delivers an open and honest monologue style play in honour of her Grandmother. Under the brilliant direction by Jessica Arden. The life Sentence refers to the permanent damage that the childbirth procedure symphysiotomy had done to her pelvis and the unimaginable pain and life-changing event that she endured.

The harsh reality of being a Catholic wife hits home when the medical notes are revealed. Performing a symphysiotomy was a favourable barbaric procedure carried out in hospitals regularly to prevent women from undergoing caesarian sections which would have meant that after two or three births this would lead to sterilisation. Which as a Catholic lady she cannot undergo due to not being allowed to use any form of contraception.

Byrnes explanation is told through unedited graphic details. From the moment she had entered the operating theatre. The horror of the blood splattered nurses uniforms leaves a haunting image. Questioning as to how this was ever considered the preferable option for Catholic wives? Childbirth can be traumatic enough without inflicting unnecessary life long physical damage onto the Mother.

The scene in which her Grandmother attends a support group and explains the condition other women had been left in highlighted how widespread the use of this procedure had been and how bad the damage was. One lady, in particular, spent the rest of her life paralysed in a wheelchair.

There was no doubting her passion and conviction as she delivered this powerful piece as much of the performance her eyes told the audience how much love she felt for this lady as they filled with tears. Holding her composure at all times and she refused to break down at any point.

Superbly delivered and a fitting tribute to her Grandmother along with the thousands of other ladies who these would have had this forced upon them. It is a performance raising awareness of what took place and as an audience member, I suggest leaving your beliefs and opinions at the door and watch it with an open mind.

Four Stars.

Cast
Eleanor Byrne

Directed by Jessica Arden

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 06/05/2019

 

The Stranger on the Bridge by Katie Hims

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 5th May 2019

Venue: Thursday 2 – Saturday 4 May at 7.45pm
Saturday at 2.45pm
The Salberg Theatre
Salisbury Playhouse, Millhouse Lane, Salisbury SP2 7RA.

14th-18th May 2019
Tobacco Factory Theatre, Raleigh Road, Bristol BS3 1TF.

Advisory contains themes of depression and suicide.

Dealing with subjects that are based on depression and suicide is always a possible trigger for some audience members. Dealing with darker sides of personal and often closed private lives of the sufferers of depression and how their families feel are not easy topics to sit through. Director Lizzie Minnion has created a sensitive and very moving adaptation of the true story of A Stranger on a Bridge.

The story begins part way through Johnny’s journey. It is Sunday 13th January 2014 the night before he launches an appeal to find “Mike”. The man who stopped him jumping off Waterloo Bridge when he wanted to die.

He first appears on ITV breakfast show Sunrise talking to Lorraine Kelly about his appeal to find the man he believes to be called Mike and how he intends campaigning to achieve this. Starting with handing out flyers on Waterloo Bridge on the anniversary of the day he was saved.

Johnny is suffering from schizoaffective disorder and the voice in his head takes the form of Panda. This part was played brilliantly and captured the loud and demanding tone these voices can take on. Leading the sufferer to act out of character and do strange and sometimes dangerous things. On one occasion Johnny is walking through traffic with no awareness of the danger around him on a busy dual carriageway with frustrated drivers around him.

Emails, phone calls, and letters flood in after Johnny has opened up about his depression and suicide attempts. As in all situations, there are messages of support and anger at what he has spoken out about. Although the anger is directed at him the people whose loved ones have died from suicide are using this to release their hurt and anger as many are frustrated by not knowing why their loved have done it.

However, no matter which side of the situation you stand the important message from plays like this is that people are discussing depression, suicide and things surrounding mental health. If audience members are uncomfortable then it is hardly surprising as these are difficult topics which need to be understood and become more aware of.

The play explores Johnny’s different experiences when he seeks help from the medical profession. One Dr tells him to eat more fruit and veg and get more early nights. That just saved the NHS a lot of money with such a straight forward solution! Although this can be a helpful factor deep-rooted depression requires far more understanding and a treatment package that suits each patient.

The play is somewhat disjointed and the actors interact in and out of character. However, this doesn’t detract from the play or following the storyline. It just enhances how fractured depression is and that it can change the line of thought in a heartbeat. One minute euphoria and happy to the next where they believe they are worthless and no good.

As to whether Johnny finds Mike or not I would urge you to go and find out for yourself. It’s a strong and emotionally draining play but well worth seeing.

Bringing the play to its conclusion the cast of five on stage almost trebled as the actors all descended adding their voices about their experiences and treatment from the outside world about their mental health problems too. Certainly a challenging performance for all the actors and creative team involved.

Three and a half Stars

Cast
Writer-Katie Hims
Director-Lizzie Minnion

A Postcard Productions Production

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 05/05/2019

 

Starved by Michael Black

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Reviewed 1st May 2019

Venue: Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham, London SW4 6DZ

On from 30th April to 11th May 2019

The metaphoric webs human beings weave for themselves are often harsh and cruel. Lad and Lass are no stranger to these webs. While at the same time they have become closed off for self-preservation and focusing on primitive survival in order to make it through another day.

Stage imitates life and in the case of Starved the evidence is dressed as soon as you enter the theatre as seen in the title photo the stage with an untidy rope web which allowed the audience to see their life through the physical web as well as the couple battling on stage to free themselves from their mind webs.

Lad and Lass battle each other through the fear of losing one another while at the same time they battle their own hurt and fears from the damage created by their dysfunctional pasts. Their language is as raw and open as their bleak living arrangements.

The reality of People watching no matter where you are is a direct connection to the audience and a brilliant addition to this powerfully uncomfortable play. Many would probably feel disconnected from the alcoholism, starving and homelessness.

However, whether you admit it or not we all have our own “Ginger pubes”, “Baby eater” and “Teleport Boy” living down our street who exist in our minds with elaborate backstories. As we observe life going on around us every day.

Although their tough life in this squat is the main focus of this hard-hitting play. Lads speech about life outside makes you stop and think about the larger society. He claims “nobody is getting anything ” and “being outside is pointless “. Just how pointless does life for someone have to become to begin to believe living in that “shit hole” is the best alternative.

Any actor who can share a cold can of Heinz Tomato Soup straight from the can certainly deserve credit for their dedication to their job. How either didn’t physically retch that point is beyond me.

The reality of their situation hits home towards the conclusion of the play when they discuss going to the police. The epiphany strikes them when they reach the conclusion that the people they are away running from are the same two people who are living in the squat. This is possibly more on a self-conscious awakening rather than an open admission once they both agree and decide to leave.

Personally, I would have liked a bit more information on why Lasses Nan was left at the bottom of the stairs and the circumstances as to how she got there. The bitter argument that ensues between the couple brings up abuse and controlling behaviour to the surface through the play. As in many cases of severe abuse, the victim will defend themselves to hide the pain as Lass goes onto do and lashes out at Lad.

Michael Black has succeeded in giving the audience an uncomfortable but realistic taste of life experienced by some people living in the North of England. Although not exclusively a demographic problem the play is set in Hull and regional areas are referred to. Yet another good example of the great work being performed within Pub Theatres at the present time.

Four Stars

Cast
Michael Black- Lad
Alana Connaughton-Lass
Directed by Matt Strachan

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 01/05/2019

 




To access archived reviews Click Here