Sunday, April 18

REVIEWS

Gash Theatre Gets Ghosted – Gash Theatre
REVIEWS

Gash Theatre Gets Ghosted – Gash Theatre

Gash Theatre Gets Ghosted works not only as a title but also a production credit. The show is produced by Gash Theatre, the brainchild of Maddie Flint and Nathalie Ellis-Einhorn, two theatre makers with a shared interest in form, femininities, pop culture, and the ridiculous. The “Ghosted” part reflects the show's horror/haunted side but also its discussion of romantic and physical relationships, from the film, TV and music samples played or spoken by pieces of furniture, vinyl records and a television to the recorded conversations about porn and ghosting dates which punctuate the main action and yes, are also spoken by furniture and household appliances. Early on the show seems a mix of the Evil Dead (possessed furniture) and Aardman's Creature Comforts (real-life conversations perfor...
Mrs Noah Fights Back – Untamed Productions
REVIEWS

Mrs Noah Fights Back – Untamed Productions

This play is a reimagined version of the story of Noah’s Ark – with a strong environmental message and a definite feminist twist on the whole proceedings. Very early on when Noah has finished building his Ark, his wife tells all and sundry, “I’m not getting on that!” which sets the scene for the remainder of the production. The whole play is very tech-heavy, led by the talents of Juliann Pichelski, and starts off with the cast (and audience) participating in a Zoom meeting which, after some decidedly pertinent references to recent Zoom meetings that have gone viral, is interrupted by an extremely angry God who tells all present, “You are destroying nature in cold blood, so I’m finishing you off by sending an almighty great flood!”. Cue Noah’s attempts to save mankind (including himself...
Outside – Orange Tree Theatre
REVIEWS

Outside – Orange Tree Theatre

This is the companion piece to Orange Tree Theatre’s Inside which featured three new short plays from emerging and established writers and Outside follows the same format with three more short plays livestreamed from the Orange Tree Theatre auditorium. The three plays have a distinct link in so much that they look at personal connection during difficult times  and how healing can sometimes take place  through mutual understanding and the ability to forgive Two Billion Beats by Sonali Bhattacharyya features two schoolgirl sisters one of whom is in detention. It’s a slim story but the dialogue between the two sisters (Asha played by Zainab Hasan & Bettina played by Ashna Rabheru) crackled along at a fair pace. It was unfortunate that the performance suffered from some so...
Cruise – Aria Entertainment and Lambert Jackson
REVIEWS

Cruise – Aria Entertainment and Lambert Jackson

Oscar Wilde suggested that the theatre is the “greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being” and this sentiment is beautifully represented in Jack Holden’s latest play CRUISE.  A lyrical celebration of queer culture, CRUISE is a musical and spoken word tribute to the veterans of the AIDS crisis. A perfectly crafted piece of queer theatre. Poetic. Artistic. Honest. It is a brutal depiction of a horrific period in the gay culture of ‘80s London. Of course, there is no message more powerful or indeed primal than that which shows the need of a human to protect their tribe and this story, told through the eyes of a 30-year-old Jack (jack Holden) in 2021, is the perfect example of survival, of...
A Splinter of Ice – Original Theatre
REVIEWS

A Splinter of Ice – Original Theatre

This is story of two friends, Kim Philby and Graham Greene, two ex-spies, one turned traitor and one turned author. If you're interested in the story of these two men and their friendship but don't know many details, don't worry: this three-hander tells pretty much the entire story of Kim Philby's part in one of the biggest spy scandals of the 20th Century through one conversation between them. Written by Ben Brown and directed by Alastair Whatley with Alan Strachan, the team behind the play which inspired the Oscar-winning film Darkest Hour, the play imagines the final reunion between them just a year before Philby's death, their only meeting since the latter was revealed as a member of the Cambridge Spy Ring and fled to the USSR. I say “imagines” because, though the circumstances beh...
Obscenities – Theatrical Niche Ltd
REVIEWS

Obscenities – Theatrical Niche Ltd

Critically-acclaimed theatre company Theatrical Niche Ltd, builds on its successful tours of Uncle Vanya, A Doll's House and Lady Windermere's Fan on a streamed virtual tour of regional theatres with their new comic mini-series “Obscenities”. Directed by Will Nash and written by Venetia Twigg & Will Nash, it’s suitable for Ages 15+ and is streaming regionally from the 2nd April through to 1st May. Supported by Arts Council England, this marks Theatrical Niche’s first collaboration with Director Will Nash, creating a collaboration of film content for virtual audiences in lieu of live theatre during the pandemic. Without a doubt the film brings theatre content to what would normally be touring audiences and makes theatre more accessible; will this continue to be a necessity for...
Hugs, Tears & Replacement Bus Services – Nod At The Fox
REVIEWS

Hugs, Tears & Replacement Bus Services – Nod At The Fox

Hugs, Tears and Replacement Bus Services is an 18-minute long binaural listening experience that invites you to sit back and immerse yourself in a fantastical bus ride to an unknown destination. Created by Nod At The Fox, which is an emerging theatre company whose artistic practice brings together puppetry and audio storytelling, the show is being staged at the Living Roots Micro Festival, which is a showcase of seven seed digital arts commissions including binaural poetry, soundscapes, narrative shorts and a digital art gallery. In this experience, you find yourself following the voice of a man who is returning back home after a late night out with friends. However he seems to have missed the last train of the night, and instead, has to take a replacement bus service back home. Here h...
The Separation – Living Roots Festival
REVIEWS

The Separation – Living Roots Festival

The Separation is part of the The Living Record’s ‘Living Roots’ initiative, which commissions and develops grass roots multi-discipline digital art. Even as the country begins to slowly whirr back into life again, the arts in particular are continuing to have to find ways to adapt to a new normal, and I found The Separation to be a prime example of a performance piece that makes best use of its medium to deliver something exciting and different. Flitting between a documentary-style talking head and the abstract, The Separation uses a single-person narrative to explore the inner turmoil of a young woman caught somewhere between realities. Taking inspiration from films such as The Others, while the piece is less than 20 minutes long it wastes no time in building a tense atmosphere and w...
Vigil – Mechanimal and Pound Arts
REVIEWS

Vigil – Mechanimal and Pound Arts

Vigil is a poignant one-man show that urges you to consider the impact of humanity on the world around us. Created by Bristol-based devised theatre company Mechanimal and presented in a new ‘online’ version with the support of The Pound Arts Centre in Wiltshire, Vigil blends physical theatre, projection, sounds and poetry to create a unique, deeply reflective journey focused on the devastating relationship between humans and nature. The original stage piece was supported by Bristol Old Vic Ferment, University College London, Arts Council England and Pound Arts, but was unable to tour in 2020 due to the pandemic. The show has the performer, played by Tom Bailey, encounter twenty-six thousand species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s ‘Red List’ within the space of...
Charley’s Aunt – Proud Haddock Productions
REVIEWS

Charley’s Aunt – Proud Haddock Productions

Who doesn’t love a good farce? Double entendres and mistaken identity ahoy are the order of the day with ‘Charley’s Aunt’, the acclaimed farce by Brandon Thomas (adapted by Paul Thain). This virtual table reading (not a production) presented by Proud Haddock gives the audience great insight into how this play could be/ would be on the stage, through the power of Zoom. Gyles Brandreth and Gary Wilmot MBE are just a couple of the well-known names in this all-star cast who the audience get a chance to be up close and personal with. ‘Charley’s Aunt’ follows two Oxford undergraduates, Jack and Charley who, in an attempt to woo two girls, invite them over for lunch to meet Charley’s aunt. However, when they learn that her visit has been postponed last minute, they persuade their fello...