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When The Rain Stops Falling at John Cooper Studios by Rigmarole Theatre

Reviewed by: Charles Hutchinson

Review date: 14th Nov 2019

WHEN will the rain stop falling, you may well be asking amid Yorkshire’s November floods, burst banks and Army assistance in Fishlake.

Bad news. The answer, in Andrew Bovell’s apocalyptic play, is 2039, and by then much water will have passed under the bridge in the two hours’ traffic of 41 Monkgate’s stage.

This week’s Yorkshire premiere of When The Rain Stops Falling marks the debut of Rigmarole Theatre Company, a new York venture led by artistic director and designer Maggie Smales, who directed York Shakespeare Project’s award-winning all-female production of Henry V, set at a “Canary Girls” munitions factory in the First World War.

In other words, she has pedigree for interesting directorial choices, and Smales shows astute judgement again in picking Bovell’s multi-layered mystery, spread across 80 years and four generations of one family in England and Australia, premiered in Adelaide 11 years ago.

Once described as a “poetic pretzel of a play”, it takes the form of an unbroken, non-linear staging of 22 scenes, in this case within the John Cooper Studio’s black-box design, with a back-wall montage of umbrellas, a drape of Aboriginal wall art, window frames and doorways painted white, ceiling lamps in different shades and a prominent fish mobile.

Within this framework, the cast of nine moves furniture on and off and occupants of rooms overlap as the years from 1969 to 2019 move backwards and forwards.

To help you work out who’s who, the one-sheet “programme” provides a pictorial family tree to distinguish between Gabriel and Gabriel and even a Gabrielle.

The play opens to the inevitable sound of falling rain…in the desert region of Alice Springs, Australia, in 2039, with Smales’s company standing in lines beneath umbrellas on the stage periphery and criss-crossing the floor in silent repetitive movements with soup bowls before making way for the first monologue by Mick Liversidge’s Gabriel York.

This drifting, eccentric wanderer is waiting for his long-estranged son, Andrew (Stan Gaskell), with no money, no socks and no food. As chance would have it, a fish suddenly falls out of the sky…manna from heaven in a play with downpours of biblical proportions.

Not till the end shall we see these two again, but as a lattice builds, fish, or more precisely, fish soup, will keep making an appearance, along with dining tables and references to rain in Bangladesh. This adds splashes of dark humour to the otherwise claustrophobically black, stormy days of betrayal, abandonment and destruction that unfold against a backdrop of climate change.

Bovell first heads back to a London flat in 1969, where we meet Gabriel York’s grandparents, James Coldrick’s Henry Law and Florence Poskitt’s Elizabeth, in younger days, their relationship problems heightened by the arrival of son Gabriel. Elizabeth is encountered again in 1988, still in the same flat, even more buttoned up, Gabriel (Adam Sowter) frustrated at her still declining to reveal why his father suddenly disappeared when he was only seven.

Sowter’s Gabriel duly heads to Australia to put the missing pieces together, whereupon he encounters a troubled roadhouse waitress in Coorong, Gabrielle York (Louise Henry, soon to play Snow White in Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs at the Grand Opera House).

Tragedy has struck her not once, but thrice, but you should see the play to find out how and why, as we learn still more from older Gabrielle (Sally Mitcham) and stoical husband Joe Ryan (Maggie Smales).

Smales chose Bovell’s poetic allegory ­- full of Australian culture, Greek myth, English awkwardness, French philosophy and meteorological turmoil – because it addresses “the most important question of our times”: Are we prepared to pass on the damage from the past to our children or can we change to save ourselves?

Ultimately, in a prophetic play heavy with the weight of legacy and inheritance, Bovell calls on us to change before it is too late. Smales’s excellent cast, so skilled at storytelling and largely at Aussie accents too, certainly makes the case for him.

In the words of the director, “If you like a powerful story that has something to say about who we are and where we are going, this is the one to see.”

You are also assured of a warmer welcome than Boris Johnson in sodden South Yorkshire this week. Among the drinks that the convivial bar is serving is…water, naturally.

See the full review here charleshutchpress.co.uk/?cat=7&fbclid=IwAR1yYHvv6hC7gupOH38erEVEbgFlBcntd9b0NCo8gVaI4o1f6bsSrM4FHzE

 

Posted on 15/11/2019

 

When The Rain Stops Falling at John Cooper Studios by Rigmarole Theatre

Reviewed by: Anna Rose James

Review date: 14th Nov 2019

A York premiere and launch production for new theatre company Rigmarole, Andrew Bovell’s award-winning 2008 play When the Rain Stops Falling addresses the most important issue of our times: “Are we prepared to pass on the damage from the past to our children?”

Director Maggie Smales follows her successful local productions of Blue Stockings and the award-winning all-female Henry V with this emotional, layered drama telling the story of a family across eighty years and four generations. Spanning the globe between England and Australia, it takes the form of an interweaving domestic mystery unfolding as patterns of betrayal, abandonment and destruction are revealed. As horrific revelations are made, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together and culminate to complete the apocalyptic picture.

Alice Springs in the year 2039. A fish falls from the sky and lands at the feet of Gabriel York. It still smells of the sea. It’s been raining for days and Gabriel knows something is wrong.

Both vast and intimate, the Law family saga is a parable for the story of mankind. We are at the point of extinction, and it is of our own making. The unpalatable act of one man turns out to be a metaphor for the collective harm that human beings have wrought on ourselves and our world.

Forgiveness, atonement and requited love are the mighty, vulnerable open questions left hanging in the air after the storm.

The cast features Smales herself as Joe Ryan, Sally Mitcham as Gabrielle York (Older), Beryl Nairn (Bomb Happy; Me and My Girl) as Elizabeth Law (Older), Louise Henry (the eponymous upcoming Snow White for the Grand Opera House) as Gabrielle York (Younger), Florence Poskitt as Elizabeth Law (Younger), James Coldrick as Henry Law, Adam Sowter as Gabriel Law, and Stan Gaskell as Andrew Price, with Mick Liversidge as Gabriel York.

Smales says of the play, “It is spine tingling and devastating but crafted with delicacy and humour.” Exacting exquisite poignancy through an excellent cast completely in tune with each other, Smales employs some of the techniques used by Frantic Assembly (Things I Know To Be True) to create a physical language that is integral to the storytelling. The nurtured fragility made real by the ensemble is so affecting it leaves members of the audience rooted in their seats for several minutes following the climax. The show also features a stunning original score by acclaimed local composer Sam McAvoy and powerfully inventive lighting, making for an invigorating and rewarding piece of thoughtful theatre.

When The Rain Stops Falling is playing at John Cooper Studio @ 41 Monkgate until Saturday 16 November – further information and tickets available here. *Please note: the play contains challenging content and is recommended for ages 14+.

See the full review here https://www.artsyork.co.uk/when-the-rain-stops-falling-inherited-tragedies/

 

Posted on 15/11/2019

 

When The Rain Stops Falling at John Cooper Studios by Rigmarole Theatre

Reviewed by: Angie Millard

Review date: 14th Nov 2019

Tonight I saw an exceptional new play: memorable, poetic and resonant.

When The Rain Stops Falling is a drama about family betrayal and forgiveness spanning four generations and moving between Britain and Australia. It consists of a series of connected stories which explore the way people deal with their past in order to make sense of their future. Patterns emerge of betrayal and abandonment and the sins of the father inevitably seem to be visited on sons, The past shapes the future in this epic play which stretches from 1959-2039.

It also explores environmental themes in a study of the nature of time which couldn’t be more relevant to us today The cast begin the play sheltering under umbrellas as flooding in Bangladesh continues.

The last time I saw a play by Bovell it was Things I know to be True performed by Frantic Assembly. In this York premiere of ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ Bovell uses complex structures to explore his chosen themes and does not shy away from controversy. Maggie Smales confronts the material presenting it to as clearly and with theatrical skill. She has vision but shows this subtly, not leading her audience but allowing us to come to terms with the facts. In order to achieve this, Smales uses the placement and movement of characters rather like a musical fugue; props are minimal and furniture is moved into place as part of the action.

The language of the play is remarkable in its use of repetition and echoed imagery. A fish falls from the sky in an end sequence and fish is used as food throughout. One mother (Beryl Nairn) and her son (Adam Sowter) share a meal of fish soup and in clipped Pinteresque dialogue repeat banalities over a meal which will subsequently make him vomit. This use of a shared reference reappears over generations as people try to redecorate their homes. They paint, clean and scrub but finally the room looks the same as it always did.

The actors have created multiple roles with intelligence and insight. The standard of acting is high and is at times painfully moving. Beryl Nairn holds a strong line as mother of Gabriel and there are poignant scenes where she is on stage simultaneously with her younger self. The younger Elizabeth (Florence Poskitt) plays the realisation of her tragedy with confused emotion and the scenes with her husband (James Coldrick) are a master class of understatement.

Their son Gabriel (Adam Sowter) acts as a link between the continents. His search for his father takes us to the York family and further loss. Louise Henry and Sally Mitcham play out a horrific plot twist with intensity and Sowter is drawn in as we knew he must be. Maggie Smales turns in a moving performance as Joe, playing across gender as the unloved partner and we all feel her pain. I imagine there were reasons for this but, personally, I would have preferred a male casting.

The play ends as it began with Mick Liversidge meeting the son he has no right to want or love and his monologues were a finely-judged acting exercise of precision and tone. We catch ourselves pitying someone we should condemn but this is family and Bovell’s resolution.

Phew! When do we leave a theatre so full of questions? This is a play which makes one confront uncomfortable facts and gives no answers but when did I last come out of a theatre buzzing?

When The Rain Stops Falling is a Rigmarole Theatre Company production now playing at the John Cooper Studio until 16 November 2019. The Director is Maggie Smales.

See the full review here https://yorkcalling.co.uk/2019/11/14/review-when-the-rain-stops-falling-at-john-cooper-studios/

 

Posted on 15/11/2019

 

The 39 Steps by John Buchan and adapted by Chris Hawley

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 9th Nov 2019

Set during the winter of 1962 in a radio station Black box Theatre are about to broadcast live The 39 Steps by John Buchan. However, as the weather worsens and snow prevents all but one cast member arriving safely at the studio. Roy the caretaker and Brenda the tea lady is called upon to save the day.

The stage is interestingly dressed with two 1960s style microphones at the centre stage, a prop table to the right-hand side full of stage props which are used for the large array of sound effects ranging from a mini bellow, drinking glasses, upright bicycle pump and a pair of coconut shells.

The humour is varied and extremely well delivered. One particular scene in the outer depths of Scotland it was reminiscent of the BBC’s League of Gentlemen where you can imagine a stranger being the centre of gossip, suspicion and intrigue.

David McCulloch and Scarlett Briant’s delivery is perfectly timed throughout the performance and they never cease to remind the audience that they are still in character as the radio station staff and are just the stand-in cast.

Bruce Chattan-McIntosh in the role of Mr Richard Hanney never falters out of character. Chattan-McIntosh’s work and a vast amount of radio voice over experience shows and he really has perfected the art of radio voice work. An absolute treat to listen to while watching the play.

In the words of the fantastic cast “It’s hawfully good, what, what” and I for one definitely agree with them.

If you would like to discover who or what The Blackstone is then caught one of Blackbox Theatre’s performance while they are out and about with this extremely funny and entertaining show while it is on tour.

Tour dates are available on their website below.

Four Stars

Cast
David McCulloch
Bruce Chattan-McIntosh
Scarlet Briant
Hannah Wood-Technical Stage Manager
Chris Hawley- Director

For further details and to check out tour dates please check out their website below.

http://www.blackboxtheatrecompany.com

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 10/11/2019

 

Soho Cinders by Stiles and Drewe

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 6th Nov 2019

West End stars Luke Bayer and Millie O’Connell star in the latest production at Charing Cross Theatre Soho Cinders. Where you meet orphan Robbie and Velcro aka as Sonya long-standing best friends working in his late Mother’s laundrette. Their friendship from the start is strong and with an incredible connection between the two, it’s believable, that they are extremely close friends.

Set in Old Compton Street, London the daily lives of prostitutes, city workers and homeless people share the demographics of this busy London street, all that was missing was the traffic.

The rags to riches storyline mix friendship, politics, spin doctor media stunts and family disputes brilliantly. James (Lewis Asquith) is running to be the next London Mayor and is engaged to Marilyn (Tori Hargreaves). While at the same time secretly having a relationship with Robbie.

The ugly sisters Clodagh (Michaela Stern) and Dana (Natalie Harman) are true to the pantomime genre and their characters are portraying common tarts with potty mouths to match. They are as much to be pitied as they are to be disliked. Their homophobic behaviour and treatment of Robbie leave you recoiling with some of their cutting derogatory comments towards him. Telling him in one scene to move out of the flat as “they don’t want to catch gay” not sure being happy is a bad thing to catch.

The stage is designed as two sides of street one in pink and the other blue mixed together on occasions with the colours and flags of pride which adds the bawdy colours element that you expect to see in any pantomime. As the story pulls you in at times it’s easy to forget that this is based on Cinderella and then a sharp funny one-liner reminds you that is exactly what you are watching.

Choreographer Adam Haigh’s talent was put to the test in this production with twenty singing numbers and individual dances to match it feels original and fresh.

One of my favourite numbers was “It’s hard to tell” the struggle as a straight female can be very much in keeping with this song as it’s not always obvious which men are gay and which are straight. The way in which sexuality is addressed flows naturally throughout. Marilyn addresses James’s infidelity in a mature approach it’s about the fact he cheated and lied to her and nothing to do with cheating on her with a man.

Will Keith’s production of this fantastic musical kept me captivated throughout. There is nothing to dislike or fault whatsoever and he has chosen an incredible cast who have amazing chemistry on stage from the onset and it continues that way to the end.

This musical delivers on every level and is exactly what you expect from a great night out. The musical numbers are still remaining in your head the next day. It certainly gets my recommendation as a must-see musical. Catch it while it is still on under The Arches in Charing Cross for the remainder it’s run.

Five Stars.

Cast
Robbie-Luke Bayer
Velcro-Millie O’Connell
Clodagh-Michaela Stern
Dana-Natalie Harman
James Prince-Lewis Asquith
Marilyn Platt-Tori Hargreaves
William George-Ewan Gillies
Lord Bellingham-Christopher Coleman
Sasha-Melissa Rose.
Written by Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis.
Music-George Stiles
Lyrics-Anthony Drewe.

Creatives
Director -Will Keith
Choreographer-Adam Haigh
Set Designer-Justin Williams
Production Team
Will Keith
Michaela Stern
Kyle Tovey.

The musical runs from 24th October – 21st December 2019

For general enquiries and tickets information please use the link below.
https://charingcrosstheatre.co.uk/theatre/soho-cinders

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 10/11/2019

 

Great Gatsby

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 8th Nov 2019

The two and a half-hour long immersive adaptation of Great Gatsby has moved from Lambeth and is now performing in it’s a new venue which used to be the home of Queen Victoria’s Rifle Association in Davies Street, Mayfair.

The main event room has a backdrop featuring two art deco mirrors separated by a mock waterfall. A raised seating on the right gives the audience a great view of the dance floor where several period dances and a lot of the main action takes place. The piano is staged on the left-hand side with a glass chandelier above setting the scene of wealth and opulence associated with the Great Gatsby.

If you ever wanted to learn the Charleston here is your perfect opportunity as the cast lead you comprehensively through the steps before doing a round or two of the dance. This is just one of the interactive dance routines that take place throughout the evening. Everyone is encouraged to take part without feeling pressured.

Nick Carraway played by James Lawrence narrates the audience through the main parts of the storyline which are broken up by various scenes which are vital to the story and then groups break off into minor plots in other private rooms. As with many immersive experiences you tend to miss just as much as you see with so many sub-stories running at the same time.

The men pictured above all looked extremely dapper and impeccable in their stylish suits. The ladies looked iconic for the era and Myrtle Wilson (Hannah Edwards) in the photo below looked stunning in her purple sequined dress, with matching feathers in her headdress and up close I could see that even her lipstick matched faultlessly.

Choreographer Holly Beasley-Garrigan’s most certainly worked hard with so many different scenes to organise in this reasonably large production. I dare say she’s spent many hours in rehearsal refining the routines with the cast and it has certainly paid off well.

Directed and adapted by Alexander Wright this production is very good and the amount of work he has put into this immersive experience certainly leaves a lasting impression on you.

It’s definitely an extraordinary night out where dressing up is actively encouraged and with so much entertainment going on throughout the evening you are spoiled for choice as to where to go next. Cocktails are available in abundance from the bar so grab yourself a taste of the 1920s, Gatsby style.

Four Stars.

For more information and ticket sales please use the link below.

https://immersivegatsby.com/event/the-great-gatsby

https://www.mayflower.org.uk/whats-on/some-like-it-hip-hop-2019/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 10/11/2019

 

Some Like It Hip Hop by Zoonation

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 16th Oct 2019

Some Like It Hip Hop is adapted from the book by Kate Prince MBE and Felix Harrison and performed by the extremely talented ensemble group of twenty-two dancers from Zoonation.

The narrator deserves a lot of credit for his performance he is very clear and concise. He is extremely charismatic and engages with the audience throughout the entire production it was clear why he had been chosen to play this role. A really likeable character and talented actor.

The story is about grief hurt and how we process these feelings after we have lost someone dear to us. The central character the Governor in this production after being introduced to the audience starts of the play by pulling a black blanket across the Sun which is centred at the rear of the stage and plunging his world into darkness.

There are four singers in this production made up of two ladies and two men. Although they are all very good the two females are the stronger voices. When they initially first started to sing the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

The dancer who plays the governor is an extremely intimidating presence on the stage his strong demeanour and impressive dancing skills make him an excellent lead character. He has strong body language and carries himself perfectly although as the storyline unfolds you start to see a softer side to him and understand why he has become the way he is.

After the death of his wife he sinks into a long deep dark depression as well as turning the sun off at the beginning he then proceeds to ban all books by burning them and actively advocates the suppression of women within his environment. It’s repeated throughout the musical that “women should be seen and not heard!”

The plot is based around male dominance and we watch as two of the ladies are thrown out of the factory for rebelling against the men as seen in the picture below. They decide to disguise themselves as men in order to return to work in the safety of the factory walls. Their disguises are fairly obvious that they are masquerading as men but this doesn’t spoil the storyline.

Set designer Ben Stones has dressed the stage in a 1920s style. The scaffolding based structures are interchangeable and the scene changes are very smooth. It complements the production and the factory gates could easily pass as being real gates.

With such a high standard of dancing and movement in this production, it is hardly surprising that they were three choreographers Kate prince MBE, Tommy Franzen and Carrie-Anne Ingrouille along with two assistant choreographers for the large cast.

Overall this is an extremely good production although there should have been a warning advisory note put on the production sheet or a sign in the auditorium to warn against the scenes of violence against women, which I found uncomfortable to watch.

Four Stars.

https://www.mayflower.org.uk/whats-on/some-like-it-hip-hop-2019/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 17/10/2019

 

The Signalman by Charles Dickens

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 12th Oct 2019

The Signalman adapted by Martin Malcolm to a fifty-minute Fringe Theatre production is a well scripted and moving credit to the original story written by Charles Dickens.

Tim Larkfield in the role of The Signalman delivers an impressive performance as he slowly mentally battles with the spirit that keeps appearing on the track. He attempts to work out what the mystery figure is trying to tell him as each time he appears a major incident occurs.

The harrowing effect this plays in the mind of the Signalman becomes all-consuming and he is left questioning what is real and what is all in his mind! Especially when the warning bell often rings without any reason and he is the only one who hears it.

I was completely taken aback by the phenomenal acting ability of Helen Baranova in the role of the crossing sweeper called Jo. To be able to perform a role in a two-man production with no written script assigned to her character this relied solely on her physical performance in order to bring the part to life. Everything she said was spoken through her eyes, from fear, warmth and a complete understanding of the whole situation as it was explained to her by the Signalman certainly captivated me.

The stage is dressed predominantly by the signal box a simple open structure which dominates the right-hand side of the stage. The perfectly timed train sound effects and lighting changes allows you to suspend your disbelief and imagine you can visualise the steam trains going through the tunnel as interpreted in detail by the Signalman.

Director Sam Raffal has utilised all the space available in the Bread and Roses theatre to breathe new life into this haunting and spine-chillingly classic tale. This is one of those fringe productions where you leave feeling really pleased to have been in the audience. Another brilliant example as to why Fringe Theatre should have bigger audiences.

Four Stars.

Cast
Tim Larkfield- The Signalman
Helen Baranova- Crossing Sweeper aka Jo
Adapted by Martin Malcolm
Directed by Sam Raffal.

www.claphamfringe.com/the-signalman.html

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 14/10/2019

 

Gutted by Sharon Byrne

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 12th Oct 2019

Gutted by Sharon Byrne first appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 the script has undergone a lot of alterations, editing and some very effective new stage directions. It was a pleasure to see the original cast though who originally first bought this play to life.

Niamh Finlay in the role of Deirdre a girl on the cusp of womanhood is living with her Mum and younger brother and looks forward to her Saturday night’s when the babysitter arrives. Her life is far from perfect but she is determined to get out of her town and make a better future for herself.

Nothing quite prepares the audience for the life-changing events that happen to her. However, Byrne’s has written the scene with such care that although you are not left wondering what happens the details are left to your own imagination!

The theme of the changing lamp lights used on the stage and strong use of strobe lights are a clever addition to the production as they double up as additional characters which are then voiced by the cast.

Dolores (Sarah Horsford), Breda (Eleanor Byrne) and Deirdre under the direction of Chris White (director) combine their dialogue smoothly and with strong conviction. These ladies are not going to be seen and not heard. Each of the three main characters appears to be bought to life with ease and much of the performance I was drawn into their lives feeling a lot of empathy towards them.

Entrenched in Catholicism the three women discuss abortion from another perspective, in Dublin only those who can afford to travel to England have the option of not continuing with an unwanted pregnancy.

Set to a predominant 1980s soundtrack of Tainted Love by Soft Cell the incredibly talented cast of three have brilliant voices and art certainly reflects life as all three are exposed to this type of love at various points through the play.

With much heartfelt anguish and tear-jerking scenes, humour quickly brings the audience back into the story, there isn’t time to get drawn into pity for any of them although their backstories would give plenty of reasons to do so.

Byrne alongside Sophie Sodd (production manager) and stage manager Michaela Corcoran have taken the original play and produced a much stronger and hard-hitting performance which delivers an uncomfortable but heart-warming insight into how an Irish community my live.

Four Stars

Cast
Eleanor Byrne-Brenda
Niamh Finlay-Deirdre
Sarah Horsford-Dolores
Writer and Producer- Sharon Byrne
Co-Producer-Vivienne Foster
Director-Chris White
Casting Director-Natalie Gallacher
Movement Choreographer-Jess Tucker Boyd
Costume Designer-Sorcha Corcoran
Lighting Designer-Marty Langhorn
Production Manager-Sophie Sood
Stage Manager-Michaela Corcoran
Graphic Designer -Marianne McConnell.
Twitter@GuttedFringe
Facebook @Guttedtour
Instagram @Guttedfringe

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 14/10/2019

 

Classified by Jayne Woodhouse

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 6th Oct 2019

Loosely based Theatre Company’s three interlinked short plays are a macabre fictional look at the reality of a world that could be closer than we think! When freedom is removed and only allowed to a privileged few who can we trust? Nobody is the simple answer in this production and absolutely nothing is what it appears to be!

First time Mum, 18-year-old Leanne (Kayley Rainton) has given birth three days earlier to Jax. She is subjected to an appalling interview by the Man played by David House at first it appears to be a routine interview. As the meeting progresses the sinister and insidious reason for calling her in is sickening. Does she have a price and will she sell her only commodity? The questions left me cold and I felt very angry by his smug demeanour as can be seen in the picture above.

There are interlinking subtle themes running throughout the three short plays. The Sixty minute straight through production keeps you gripped wanting to find out the fate of each character. Breaking the fourth wall frequently engaging directly with the audience and encouraging them to become more than passive observers adds another dimension to this play.

Actress Rosannah Lenaghan pictured above plays the other half of a young couple. She misses curfew trying to find out what has happened to a lower level man she sees on a daily basis called Jax. Neil Gardner in the role of her boyfriend is more concerned about how her actions will affect his own status level. Just how far does he go to save his own privileges?

Playwright Jayne Woodhouse delivers a very dark and deeply uncomfortable insight into a future that isn’t completely inconceivable. The tightly weaved script leaves you cold in places and delivers plenty of shocks along the way. Just how far will people go to protect themselves in the name of what they have been brainwashed into believing to be “right”!

Director Calum Robshaw has bought each of the characters together in an extremely well-directed trio of hard-hitting situations. The smooth transition between each play doesn’t allow much time to gather your thoughts!

The stage is minimally dressed nonetheless the strong script doesn’t depend on props. The strength of conviction by the cast of four is all you need to focus on. Their interlinked stories and how their paths often cross is the central focus and the delivery is close to perfect. As with all particularly good Fringe plays the key is in the quality of writing and the right choice of actors, not the budget spent on special effects!

Four Stars

Running Time 60 minutes.

Cast
Neil Gardner-Man/Joe
David House-Interviewer/Principal
Rosannah Lenaghan-Woman/Mother
Kayley Rainton-Leanne/Sarah.
Writer-Jayne Woodhouse
Director-Calum Robshaw.
Photography-John Bruce

Performed at:
The Chapel Nightclub, 34 Milford St, Salisbury.

From 12th-13th October 2019
Lion and Unicorn, 42-44 Gaisford Street, Kentish Town, London NW5 2ED.

https://looselybased.co.uk/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com

 

Posted on 14/10/2019

 




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