Friday, June 18

South East

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods – Oxford Playhouse Online
South East

A Cold Supper Behind Harrods – Oxford Playhouse Online

Written by David Morley, “A Cold Supper Behind Harrods” came into being following Morley’s meeting with ex Special Operations Executive operative, Leo Franks in the 1990s when Morley was working on a television programme called “War Heroes”. Morley felt he hadn’t done Franks’ memory justice and so penned this play which embodies what Franks told him: some of the real truth behind the Special Operations Executive, not the glossed up version told to the public. It was initially a radio play and the three lead actors who originally appeared in it have returned for the transfer to this stage version. Directed by Philip Franks, tonight’s show was a live-streamed, script in hand version which in itself presented challenges for actors and the production crew. They have had very little rehears...
Sleeping Beauties – Brighton Fringe
South East

Sleeping Beauties – Brighton Fringe

The Storytelling Choir’s Sleeping Beauties is a magical combination of song, storytelling and stunning visuals, which brings new life to an old tale by going back to its ancient roots embracing all corners of the world. The Storytelling Choir question why fairy tales have been reduced to one, accepted version, and aim to bring storytelling back to the communities where they started. Discussing their views on the Sleeping Beauty story, the choir, comprised of Marina Evans, Sophie Gibson, Joanna Gilar, Fleur Shorthouse Hemmings and Nana Tomova, it is clear that over the year this performance is put together, a lot of consideration has been given to the themes of the story and the message those themes convey. Medieval style song is then combined with poetry and beautiful paintings of s...
The Great Gatsby – Brighton Fringe
South East

The Great Gatsby – Brighton Fringe

The Wardrobe Ensemble’s The Great Gatsby, directed by Tom Brennan with assistance from Frazer Meakin, is a unique reimagining of Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel. A two woman show, performed by Tamsin Hurtado Clarke and Jesse Meadows, this brilliant reinterpretation blends the 1920s story with modern themes and references to create a special and entertaining piece of theatre which breathes new life into a familiar cast of characters. The piece opens with images of fireworks and scenes of partying from various eras. The hedonistic events shown feel so long ago in today’s world, and when we see Meadows, lying alone on the stage with clothes and wine bottles strewn around, the loneliness of our recent isolation is brought to the fore. As Meadows gets up and begins cleaning up the alco...
Am I A Terrible Person? – Brighton Fringe
South East

Am I A Terrible Person? – Brighton Fringe

Ant Lightfoot’s autobiographic short film is a poignant, deeply personal and emotive statement about his OCD and the issues that emerge from this condition. It’s a film that explores the many intrusive thoughts and actions that Lightfoot has to deal with in his life and the film is heightened by some startling visuals and unsettling sound bites. It is probably one of the most thoughtful and heartfelt essays on mental health that I have seen and although the film is quite brief, it really does pack a powerful punch. What we see is Lightfoot’s truth and his truth about his condition is wholeheartedly honest and very revealing throughout. The opening sequence when he is asking personal questions to and about himself is almost mesmeric in feel and rhythm and it sets the tone for ...
MNQUMA – Brighton Fringe
South East

MNQUMA – Brighton Fringe

Xolisile Bongwana’s MNQUMA tells the story of a man on a quest to reconnect with his roots and reclaim the legacy of his ancestors whilst discovering his own identity. We see Bongwana express his thoughts and feelings on this journey through the traditional dance forms of Xhosa and Bhaca. With music compositions by Bongwana himself alongside Elvis Sibeko and No-Finish Dywili, the songs felt personal, Bongwana’s voice blending seamlessly with every note from start to finish. Bongwana delivers an emotional performance, his inner conflict is palpable in his dancing and singing as he struggles to battle with himself. He gives an especially stellar performance as he undergoes his transformation from boy to man, seemingly experiencing a lot of challenges on the way. The set has bee...
Perspectives on Visibility: Outside Inside – Brighton Fringe
South East

Perspectives on Visibility: Outside Inside – Brighton Fringe

Perspectives on Visibility: Outside Inside, performed by Ebony Rose Dark, is a beautiful piece of physical theatre, exploring accessibility and what it means to see and be seen. Audio described by Dark and Benjamin Redgrove throughout, with captions and BSL interpretation by Radha Starr, this is an audio and visual treat. The show combines beautiful shots of the sea and beach in Cyprus with a bland, empty London flat, with peeling paint and dull grey floors. Dark enters in a striking purple gown carrying their white cane explaining how as a visually impaired performer, they are going to map the space, which is a technique used by some visually impaired performers. They beautifully show how they need to navigate obstacles, such as the pillars in the room, and how their actions are in...
The Tragedy of Dorian Gray – Brighton Fringe
South East

The Tragedy of Dorian Gray – Brighton Fringe

Oscar Wilde’s classic tale of moral corruption and destructive selfishness is given a refreshing and highly stylistic make over by writer/director Ross Dinwiddy. Set between the periods of the 1960’s up to the 00’s, Dinwiddy evokes a dark, visceral and almost movie noir feel to this tale of a  young man who wants to remain youthful whilst his portrait  disintegrates as his corrupt and ego centric personality destroys everyone and everything that lies in his path. Gray finely played here by Maximus Polling, inhibits and dominates the dark world surrounding him and the excellent use of black and white photography really gives the production an almost malevolent feel about it. Dinwiddy’s witty and razor script gives each actor the space to create a rich and dark characteri...
Jerk – Brighton Fringe
South East

Jerk – Brighton Fringe

Mudlarks Theatre’s Jerk, written by Nick Edgeworth, is the story of Ivan the Id (Nick Edgeworth), Ellen the Ego (Harley Truslove) and Simon the Superego (Ryan Harris), and their lives managing the actions of the young man whose brain they control. When they are born, it is just Ivan, on his own, in a want, point, have, world, but as they grow up Ellen appears, followed by Simon, and the messy world of puberty is explored as they grow up. Ivan quickly learns the power of emotional manipulation and how getting the things he wants releases dopamine, which is enjoyable for him, as well as Ellen and Simon. The dopamine is shown to us through flashing coloured lights and all three actors gazing in wonder and contentment. The release of dopamine is Ivan’s main goal, whereas Simon’s main goal ...
Giles – Brighton Fringe
South East

Giles – Brighton Fringe

The advertising material for Frédéric Blanchette’s comedy, ‘Giles’, showing as part of Brighton Fringe 2021, poses the question: How well do you know your friends? The online play seeks to explore that conundrum through the lens of a zoom date night. Directed by Marianne Badrichani, it features a cast of three: Chris Campbell as Richard, Edith Vernes as Sophie and Sam Alexander as Giles. Sophie, based in Paris, and her boyfriend Richard, located in London, meet regularly face to face via the internet. Richard has invited his best friend, Giles, to one such rendezvous much to his girlfriend’s dismay. Sophie repeatedly tells Richard that she loathes Giles which he finds incomprehensible. When Giles joins the meeting, detailing his Covid related good deeds, the reason for Sophie’s antipat...
We’ll Dance on the Ash of the Apocalypse – Brighton Fringe
South East

We’ll Dance on the Ash of the Apocalypse – Brighton Fringe

This one act play written and directed by Melissa-Kelly Franklin is a timely piece constructed around the environment and climate change. It tells the story of a young couple played by Maite Jauregui and Danny Horn who are living through a climate apocalypse and their discovery that the woman is pregnant. They wonder if it’s right to bring their baby into this damaged world. There is an awful lot of soul searching to be had. It’s not a bad play and it really does highlight important issues about our response to the environment but the play is also very earnest, sombre, miserable and at times quite self - conscious. There is no denying Franklin’s passion but it just didn’t work for me. Unfortunately the use of slow- no physical theatre to emphasis the change in the couple’s...