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Showing posts from March, 2015

THEATRE REVIEW: Treasure Island ★★★★

Treasure Island
The National Theatre, London
Wednesday 25th March 2015
Since 10th December 2014, the Olivier Stage at The National Theatre has given its stage to the Robert Louis Stevenson adventure Treasure Island. Told through the narrative of Jim Hawkins, were are sent on this wonderful adventure from start to finish, with very little time for a breather.Straight from the beginning, the visuals on stage are stunning, with wooden panels and arches all the way around the stage. The revolving stage and heightened scenery from below also allowed for little manual movement throughout. I really felt in awe at the attention to detailed that was acquired for each of these set pieces, especially with the Hispaniola's ship quarters and other rooms as seen in the first act.The attention to costume and makeup was also something that must of been thought about a lot, especially with all the different pirates that were introduced in the first part of this production, like Bill Bones and Blind…

Strike A Light March 2015

Its 10am, on 21st March, and opening its doors in King's Walk Centre is Affix a new research and development brought to Gloucester as a part of Strike A Light, a theatre festival that I'd held in Gloucester twice a year; March and September, which brings local and further wide talent to the city. The night before had Spitz and Co. return to the city with their brand new show Glorilla, after their incredible Gloriator last year.
Within minutes of opening its doors, Affix was packed with children and their parents all having fun. Produced by Sabrina Shirazi, the premise is simple; what could you create from 300 shapes, 30 vests, and 3 surfaces? As a result from the days events, hundreds of inventions turns out to be the answer. From motorbikes to transformers, the possibilities were endless, and with help from Velcro vest  and strips, which could be placed anywhere from the hands, arms or legs, anything from original to whacky was produced, and as the day progressed, and voluntee…

THEATRE REVIEW: Half Baked ★★★

Half Baked Birmingham REP Theatre Monday 9th March 2015
Set in a baking shop, with six aspiring bakers themselves, about to say goodbye to the shop and move onto different things, Half Baked is a heart-warming telling which tells the stories of those individuals and the relationships they share between themselves.
It my seem weird that the first time we meet them they are about to say their farewells to a place that clearly holds a lot of memories for each of them, but as the production rapidly moves along, you as an audience member feel like you have been with them throughout every success and mishap this team has been through themselves, and this is solely down to the brilliant writing of these characters and the chemistry that all the actors possess on stage.
The fact that there is so little time all together to establish these characters, the fact that the production doesn't just focus on one main individual, but giving everyone a chance at their own little stories, whilst also int…

THEATRE REVIEW: 12 Angry Men ★★★

12 Angry Men
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Saturday 7th March 2015Its the 1950's, and a boy has been sent to court after his female neighbor, living directly opposite, supposedly see's him stab his father just after midnight one night. As the play starts, the Jury, consisting of 12 males, have to now come to a decision whether the boy in question is guilty of his crimes.Now the fascinating thing about this production is not whether the boy is actually guilty or not, as throughout the course of the production many jury members have doubt's and subsides with the latter, but its more about the way of trying to show any means of the boy not being guilty, and how each individual member of the jury come to their decision.The staging is beautiful, with a large scale set that has working lights, fans and taps, and the whole sense of the surroundings is another reason why you feel like you are so involved in the action unfolding on stage. I will say that at times I did drift away, …

THEATRE REVIEW: The King's Speech ★★★★

The Kings Speech Birmingham REP Theatre 5th March 2015
Based on the 2010 British film starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush, Raymond Coulthard and Jason Donovan pick up the reigns in this historical drama based on real life events. After his brother abdicates the throne, King George relies on Lionel Logue to help him through his first wartime radio broadcast on the declaration of war against Germany in 1939.
What I thought really worked about this production was the relationship between the characters and the chemistry on-stage provided by both Coulthard and Donovan. As the relationship starts sour, but with them soon turning friends, the way the action flows nicely really draws you into the action. There is never one scene that isn't important, and the transitions between those scenes are slick and tight. All the characters in the show are really well developed and each feel like they have a secure back-story to them, especially with it being a true story.
I don’t usually comment a…

RSC Live: Love's Labour's Won / Much Ado About Nothing ★★★★

Love’s Labour’s Won / Much Ado about Nothing RSC Live from Stratford Upon Avon 5th March 2015
Cast: Edward Bennett - Benedick Michelle Terry - Beatrice Tunji Kasim - Claudio Flora Spencer-Longhurst - Hero Sam Alexander - Don John William Bellchambers - Conrade
This RSC’s Production of Much Ado About Nothing has been crafted under a new name of Love’s Labours Won, mainly due to the similarity it faces with Love’s Labour’s Lost, where both are currently playing at Stratford. This version of the play is set in 1918, just after the First World World, and I think that this was a genius idea, which linked and fitted perfectly with the first outing, Lost, as that ended with the soldiers going off to war. Director Christopher Luscombe also spoke how the era of this production also suited nicely for the villain in play, Don John, as he has suffered so much from the horrific war that he seems to have just returned from.
Just like Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won is a beautiful play which even though has less com…

THEATRE REVIEW: Back Down ★★★

Back Down Birmingham REP Theatre Tuesday 3rd March
Spoken Word Poet Steven Camden, otherwise known as Polarbear, has now debuted his brand new play Back Down, based on real life events, when Steven and Two of his friends went away to Snowdon Mountain in Wales. Now three other Brummies, Zia, Tommy, and Luke, take that exact same journey, with heightened events.
With Luke leaving for University with his Girlfriend, he and his mates take one last trip to Snowdon on a camping trip before he leaves to start his ‘Next Chapter’. I felt that I could really relate to this story in some sense, with myself having started University just this year, which made me have some sense of relatability because of this subject. I also loved how minimalistic the set was, with a ladder, a grass area on a 45° angle, four boxes, and a few bottles and phones, which were all multi-used for different props in scenes.
What escalates in this coming-of-age production is represented with a calm pace, as we really get to …

THEATRE REVIEW: The Honey Man ★★★★

The Honey Man
Birmingham REP Theatre17th February 2015
From the very beginning of this beautiful production, The Honey Man, written and starring Tyrone Huggins, we are immediately introduced to Misty, a 14 year old girl, who is the daughter of The Manor of the House, where she is being a tour guide to the manor. Through this, the marvellous thought of using us, the audience, as the tour members is a clever device, and used perfectly throughout the piece, especially at the beginning, end of act one, and the end of the play.

In a run down cottage, at the far end of the manor, we see meet The Honey Man, portrayed by Huggins. This loveable character, and his first encounter with Misty, is charged with emotion and energy brought effortlessly together by the two outstanding actors, who really bring the characters from script to life in front of our very eyes. It’s also brilliant because the plot is so focused on these two wonderfully written characters, with only mentions or off-stage conv…