Monday, January 30

South East

The Old House – Brighton Fringe
South East

The 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...
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 ...