Friday, December 3

South East

Tell me on a Sunday – Frinton Summer Theatre
South East

Tell me on a Sunday – Frinton Summer Theatre

Tell me on a Sunday may be the smallest musical Andrew Lloyd Webber has ever written, but as a one-woman musical, it packs enough punch to keep the audience enthralled. The key to this success, in a Frinton Summer Theatre first, is the casting of Shona White and the accompanying live six-piece band. White, whose credits include Mamma Mia, West Side Story and Wicked, is clearly used to a big stage; she has a big voice and a big presence – precisely what you need to carry off a one-woman show. Tell me on a Sunday is the story of an ordinary English girl journeying to, and across America, looking for love. Her romantic misadventures are hapless and humorous and feel very Bridget Jones. This was originally written in the 1970s, a time when the male gaze and women defining themselves thr...
An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser – Brighton Fringe
South East

An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser – Brighton Fringe

An Evening with Professor von Goosechaser, written and performed by Adam Nightingale, is a mock lecture on the complex field of monsterology, and seeks to answer the question of whether or not the supernatural creatures plaguing the seventeenth century are real, or vicious anti-Catholic propaganda spun out by the Puritans. The esteemed Professor is accompanied by Marco (Mark “el durmiente” Nightingale) a guitarist who plays in a beautiful fingerpicking style which emphasises the medieval mood of the show. Remaining comically nonplussed throughout, Marco’s bored demeanour and minimal responses emphasise the dry humour utilised throughout the piece. The show makes wry nods to today’s world, including the presence of a plague, which the Professor says has come from demons. At the openi...
Devil’s Food Cake – Brighton Fringe
South East

Devil’s Food Cake – Brighton Fringe

Devil’s Food Cake, written and directed by Marcia Kelson, is a dark and emotional drama, written for online performance, which explores the bewildering and overwhelming world of anorexia and its effect on both the patient and their loved ones. The play tells the story of Sophie (Eden Vansittart) who is living with anorexia and the efforts her Mum, Jenny (Lesley Ann Jones), Dad, Frank (David Jones) and sister, Katie (Eliza Jones) are making to persuade her to eat. In their desperation they sign up for family therapy sessions with Jasmine (Caroline Salter). When the play opens Sophie’s actions seem almost reasonable as her apparently overprotective mother tries to prevent her following a plant-based diet, for the planet, and going for a run to keep healthy. It quickly becomes clear ho...
Shakespeare (She/Her) – Brighton Fringe
South East

Shakespeare (She/Her) – Brighton Fringe

Three Chairs and a Hat’s Shakespeare’s (She/Her), directed by Wayne T Brown, is a short collection of Shakespearean monologues and verse all performed by women, in contemporary settings. Utilising reality TV, mobile phones and subtle references to today’s climate, it is a varied compilation of well performed pieces. The show opens with Delena Gabbidon’s witty and devious portrayal of Ms Quickly. Swiftly changing her clothes before speaking, Gabbidon creates a clandestine atmosphere as she reveals the secrets of the people around her, taking her on a rollercoaster of emotions supported by strong body language and mime. We are then taken to a beautiful park with birds, animals and a mother (Jo Lainchbury) playing happily with her child as she narrates Sonnet 15. This is a peaceful and...
This Old House – Brighton Fringe
South East

This Old House – Brighton Fringe

Written and performed by Kate Maravan, ‘The Old House’, was inspired by her own experience of coming to terms with her mother’s Alzheimer’s.  Directed by Kath Burlinson, the play does not fall into the category of monologue, as even though only one person performs, Maravan’s ability to move between characters, creates a feeling of two very different personas on stage.  A moving tale of a mother and daughter trying to navigate their changing relationship which is evolving constantly as the side effects of the Alzheimer’s begins to have an impact.  We meet the two of them, as they take a trip to their old house, which brings back fond memories, as they spend time together at the beach and reminisce about past times.  This is a beautifully written play, with Maravan...
Nevergreen – Brighton Fringe
South East

Nevergreen – Brighton Fringe

The wonderful’s Nevergreen, written by Gus Mitchell and directed by Eloise Poulton, is a hypnotising and beautiful online show, that tries to articulate the colossal fight we need to engage in to save our planet and everything that lives on it. A one woman show, performer Katurah Morrish, switches between playing Rachel Carson and an objective narrator in today’s world who reveres Carson’s work. Physical theatre is blended with heart wrenching monologues, which create a truly original online show. Technical issues about failing connections seen in numerous online shows now as a wry nod to today’s environment, are utilised to illustrate the overwhelming difficulties of communicating the massive issues connected with climate change. As Morrish scribbles into a worn notebook wit...
The Crooked Spire – Brighton Fringe
South East

The Crooked Spire – Brighton Fringe

Filmed in 2020 during Covid, based on the novel The Crooked Spire by Chris Nickson and directed by Andrew Miller this 35-minute medieval murder mystery musical (honestly!) is a bit of an oddity to say the least. All the actors are filmed separately in performed sequences and sometimes the editing and isolated performances from the cast is quite jarring. The acting is very patchy throughout and unfortunately the actual musical content and vocal delivery is not that good – was there any need to include music in the first place? I genuinely think it would’ve worked better without the musical element and maybe focus more on monologues rather than have disjointed scenes of actors in isolated duologues. The script by Mary M Hennessy is fairly decent but nothing out of the ordinary ...
Gilbert and Sullivan’s Improbable new musical:…. and Helen – Brighton Fringe
South East

Gilbert and Sullivan’s Improbable new musical:…. and Helen – Brighton Fringe

‘Gilbert and Sullivan’s Improbable new musical:…. and Helen’, was performed as part of 2021’s Brighton Fringe. Performed by the Coily Dart Theatre Company, written by Susan Ellerby and co-directed by both Ellerby and Norman Hockley, this was presented as an audio- show. The story centres on Helen Carte (Catherine Tuckey) and her role that is largely undocumented within the Gilbert and Sullivan Company. With references to several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, it relays the story of Helens life with the company (with assistance from the internet and equally the imagination) and begins from the time she left school in 1867. Rather unusually for a woman in the Victorian period she was well educated and appeared to be the backbone of the Gilbert and Sullivan success. It is an extremely en...
Threesome – Brighton Fringe
South East

Threesome – Brighton Fringe

Devised and performed by Claudia Saavedra, Eric Silver and Philip Greenoak of Almost Professional, this is a quirky filmed play with its tongue firmly in its cheek.  Threesome tells the cautionary tale of two flat mates Alex (Silver) and Eve (Saavedra) who are seeking another flat mate to share their running costs. They soon have a suitable candidate for the spare room so they set about interviewing Evan (Greenoak) with unexpected results. It’s obvious that the three actors are enjoying themselves all the way through and the dialogue in parts is quite witty and sharp, but it does suffer from a pretty slow start and it isn’t really until the third character Evan comes into the frame that things stay to fly. It’s safe to ask that why anyone would want to share a flat with any ...
Labyrinth – Brighton Fringe
South East

Labyrinth – Brighton Fringe

This fierce and vibrant feminist monologue written by Mancho Rodriguez and performed by Marta Carvalho is an interesting and quite ambiguous piece of work. The narrator says at the very outset says that she “has killed a man – killed love” but as this unremitting and intense monologue develops we begin to realise that the woman has found herself in a labyrinth of reality and illusion brought on by her own vulnerability and emotional state. Carvalho gives a passionately physical and overpowering performance throughout and she is well served by Mark C Hewitt’s English translation of the original script by Rodriguez. The monologue itself is set in the theatre of expressionism and may not suit everyone’s taste with its intensity and bleakness; also at a running time of nearly an hour...