A marvelous performance. With excellent acting and the intricate staging and visual effects being a feast for the eyes, this performance is certainly one for the books. A Mirrored Monet written by Carmel Owen, directed by Fraser Grant and music directed by Neil Metcalfe is certainly one to be remembered.
The show focuses on the life of Monet. Drawing on inspiration from sources like letters, paintings and more, the performance focuses on all aspects of the artist’s life covering the ups just as much as the downs. In a series of flashbacks Monet’s life is unraveled. Within these flashbacks we meet Camille (Monet’s first wife) who in this run was played by the understudy Kim Shepherd. We also meet other artists Monet associated himself with such as the likes of Renoir (played by Chris Dodd). The play has an interesting twist where the memories are narrated by the older version of Monet (played by Crawford Logan). Logan’s character gives interesting insight to the performance unfolding on stage, as well as communicating necessary information to the audience. With Monet’s character being split into a younger and older version this gives us the opportunity to see the contrast in Monet as he progressed through life and how different events changed him.
Meanwhile, with Matthew Hydzik in the role of younger Monet we also get to see the difference in acting styles and interpretations of the character by both Logan and Hydzik. The performance starts with just Logan on stage almost breaking the fourth wall with the audience as he goes down memory lane. With the stage in a thrust formation, the elevated seating made it easy to see what was happening on the ground level stage. Even in the seating on the sides the action was still very visible. The use of chairs, a canvas and a sheet split the stage into different places making the transitions smoother. Additionally, the use of a spotlight helped show where the audience needed to be looking during moments where there were many characters playing different scenes on stage at the same time.
Some moments were a tad confusing with Logan’s character always present, making some scenes hard to decipher if the moment was still in the past or not. However, the creative use of a changing backscreen aided in showing where the main action was situated. The backscreen also took on the role of a painting being destroyed by Monet and this made the action seem even more dramatic. However, the paint strokes didn’t always match Logan’s movements which slightly took away from the moment. The performance overall had a very real and raw feel to it. The singing of each actor was filled with emotion. This was particularly evident in Shepherd who managed to capture the emotional moments of her character perfectly. Such as the heart wrenching moment when she confronts Logan’s Monet for replacing her.
Reviewer: Marcelina Kruczynska
Reviewed: 21st August 2023
North West End UK Rating: