Made Up
Birmingham REP Theatre
Thursday 19th May 2016

To celebrate their 25th anniversary as a company, Birmingham based company Stan’s Cafe presents Made Up, a piece of theatre which the company has collaborated with a makeup artist to bring the production to life on stage. Set around the character of Kate (Emily Holyoake), who comes in to see makeup artist Sue (Alexis Tuttle) for some of her television roles, we see a raw performance from the two creatives on stage, whilst also seeing the in detailed makeup through a live feed camera, but ultimately is a very poorly executed production which falls flat half way through and never manages to lift.

The problem with this production is that the set is beautiful lit, with the whole trailer feel like you are actually watching a makeup artist at work in their daily job, which we are essentially, but there is no strong underlying storyline to the piece, and just really feels like random conversations packed into the 75 minute performance, and had me sighing and constantly checking for the time.

The performers themselves also lacked likeability as the play progressed, making myself feel irritated by their characters and the various other characters they multiroled which lacked conviction and characteristics which then made it hard for me to understand when they were playing the background characters, apart from the change of lighting which would depict the different scenes. Technical errors with random lighting flickers also made the production feel under rehearsed, and the lighting didn't help us as an audience member to really see the makeup being provided onto the actors face.

Overall, Made Up had a good concept, to see into the life of a make up artist, but was sadly executed poorly with lack of personality and conviction from the actors.


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