THEATRE REVIEW: Masterpieces ★★★★
Warwick Arts Centre
Wednesday 27th May 2015
Sarah Daniel’s Masterpieces is the latest production to be at the helm of Warwick University’s Drama Society, which is centred around the different types of pornography and how they affect our everyday lives. There are three married couples present; Rowena and Trevor, Yvonne and Ron, and Jennifer and Clive. The six actors who made up these characters held their performances with so much conviction throughout the whole piece, it really made their performances have so much energy and charisma on stage. Yvonne and Ron’s relationship is also probably the most challenging out of the trio, as they really are at wits end in their relationship, and just the way Courtney and Craig take on these characters and run with their side story, it really is electrifying when they come down to one of the final scenes between themselves.
There is also one other character in this mix, and that’s in the form of Hilary, a mother to Heathcliff (Kate Bush, not Emily Bronte). Kitty Murdoch portrays this character with so much conviction, she really has the stage presence, and this has also been clear in previous productions that I have seen her in. Her main interactions with other characters are in Rowena, as Hilary is one of her clients, and Ron, who, once she has been recruited to work as a secretary, he sexually rapes her. Rosie’s portrayal of Rowena throughout the course of the production was a stand-out, mainly because of the different turns that her character faces throughout; she starts of as this innocent wife to Trevor, but is really the only one who gets affected by the world of Pornography, and she pushes a man head on towards a train, and also watching a ‘snuff’ movie. Rosie’s emotions during these final scenes are so raw they feel incredibly naturalistic, which just makes everything more believable, and powerful.
The play also through has some incredibly funny moments, though these do seem to appear mainly in the first few scene, and to see the transition between this, and the second act, it really shows how much of a journey the majority of these character’s go through. The direction taken by the University was clever and creative, using the whole of the stage, and making the actors feel incredibly comfortable with the characters they were playing and the themes that were expressed throughout the whole production.