Given the current offering at The Globe as part of the Summer of Love season, Emma Rice’s seminal work for Kneehigh fits right in – it almost feels as though the programme was concocted to showcase this show as its crown jewel.
In an abstract sense, it feels as though an apocalypse is approaching. In reality, it is simply the devastating onslaught of globalisation.
Blood is thicker than water; family comes first. The idea that a relative takes precedence over friends or partners seems archaic and old school, yet it still holds fast today. But what if siblings grow apart or move to separate countries, can they still be expected to be an integral part of each other’s lives?
For the blind, there is no need to have colour in the world. Thom Southerland’s production of The Braille Legacy is devoid of such frivolities – a black and white revolving set by Tim Shortall; monochrome costumes by Jonathan Lipman; harsh, exposing cold white spotlights in Tim Lutkin’s lighting design.
Incoming Festival has quickly become synonymous with this safe environment and is back for a fourth year of shows by emerging theatre companies that push boundaries, ask questions and challenge pre-conceptions.
The Spring Offensive, a so-called charge after the winter snow had thawed on the front lines each year throughout World War One, a final push for the Germans to break allied lines before US reinforcements arrived and turned the tide of battle. Of course, it didn’t work.
It’s Not Yet Midnight is devised to highlight the success of collaboration and the danger of trying to accomplish everything solo. Working together, the acrobats build towers four people tall; they somersault and flip and vault high into the air knowing that their fellow performers are waiting to catch them as they fall back down to earth.
It feels fictional but never absurdist, outlandish but never untenable. Andrea’s (Emily Thornton) situation is shocking and slightly outrageous, but is ultimately believable.
Edwina Strobl directs Daniel Keene’s Boxman as part of the Stomping Ground Festival, a Young Director’s training programme set up by StoneCrabs Theatre Company. Weathers establishes his character before the performance begins, an invisible shadow on stage that the audience pass by to take their seats.
Chris Davis directs Martin Sherman’s Passing By as part of the Stomping Ground Festival, a Young Director’s training programme set up by StoneCrabs Theatre Company. Simon (Adrian Quinton) and Toby (Mike Evans) hook up one evening at a time when homosexuality was still unacceptable and met with ignorant anger.
Kapila directs Kate Tempest’s Wasted as part of the Stomping Ground Festival, a Young Director’s training programme set up by StoneCrabs Theatre Company. Charlotte (Chioma Anyanwu), Ted (Jack Boswell) and Danny (Ludovic Hughes) epitomise the latest generation of working professionals, a clash of worlds where each person feels trapped in their own situation.
John (Alec Gray) is a charlatan, a sham. Convincing in his craft, but swindling Miss A (Nicola Peluso) out of her fortune nevertheless. Stricken with grief over the passing of her mother, she is desperate to make contact, seeking out John as a medium in the process.
The British Empire feels like an octopus, its tentacles stretching out across the globe and touching all continents, everything feeding back into the main body at the centre.
As a name, Will Power conjures the image of a jack the lad, a confident (perhaps a touch arrogant) young guy with a slight swagger, affable nature and consistently positive outlook on life. In Toby Boutall’s play, William (Anthony Fagan) certainly is that.
In this inaugural production from Out Of Spite Theatre, Scott-Rowley has taken the mantle entirely upon himself – writer, director and actor. He uses lighting cues to transform his physicality between characters, seemingly without connection but slowly overlapping with each other as the play progresses.
Hip H’Opera is now a thing thanks to the team from Witt ‘N Camp. These two staccato, shrill, singing divas appear in masquerade masks and constantly compete for centre stage.
Uma Thurman’s starring role in Kill Bill clearly provides inspiration for the latter part of Nir Paldi’s Bucket List – a hit-list for daughter Milagros to use when hunting down those indirectly responsible for killing her mother Maria.
We are thrown between hilarity and horror without knowing why. All that is given away is that Villain has a dark side, be it a crime that Rachel has committed, been witness to, or been a victim of.
Rosa Maggiora’s block set, while crisp and clean, seems altogether out of place for this production – too futuristic and alternative compared with a more traditional story of a girl that struggles with her identity in an ever-changing world.
Alexander Zeldin’s world premiere of Love is by no means a stereotypical interpretation of the emotion. Natasha Jenkins presents a semi-immersive set, a run-down, stark social housing unit that bleeds out into the audience space – the front rows directly sit in the way of the production itself.
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