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‘Sombre mood, visual distortions, intense emotions’: THE HAIRY APE — Online

In Features, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

I remember a student I was once trying to get to read more saying “What’s the point, there are just too many books”. Perhaps I’m beginning to have the same reaction to digital theatre – there’s so much more of it out there than I had ever anticipated and although I think I can claim I’ve covered a fair amount of ground there is still plenty to get to grips with.

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‘Deals with some important issues’: MY BOY DANNY (Online review)

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New online theatre material keeps popping up all the time – or at least it eventually comes to my attention which amounts to much the same thing; this latest one did so by a somewhat circuitous route. My Boy Danny played at this year’s recent Camden Fringe as an online stream, but I managed to muddle the dates and therefore missed it.

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‘Far from the traditional’: SLEEPING BEAUTY ‘DREAM ON’ – Chickenshed Theatre (Online review)

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It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed one of the many shows which youth theatre Chickenshed put out during the pandemic. In fact, their last released piece came out in May so apologies to them for getting to this so late on. As with some of their previously released pieces it’s one of their boldly reinvented Christmas shows, this time from 2012.

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‘The monk playing an electric guitar is a more recent invention’: THE YORK MYSTERY PLAYS – BBC Sounds (Online Review)

In Audio, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

It is not with a little sense of surprise that I found myself yesterday experiencing my 800th online production which is the subject of this review. Back in April 2020 I, probably along with the vast majority of people, was only expecting the virus problem to last a matter of weeks and yet here we are and here I am still reviewing daily after 535 days.

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‘Just don’t expect your journey to be a comfortable one’: THE CONTAINER – Young Vic / Digital Theatre (Online review)

In London theatre, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Site specific theatre hasn’t been easy over the last eighteen months – in fact you can take out the first two words of that statement. It’s been tricky enough getting regular venues open, let alone some of the more esoteric settings which were used before you know what kicked off. A production that it would probably be almost impossible to revive now is Clare Bayley’s The Container which happened at the Young Vic in 2009. Set in an actual shipping container near to the theatre it allowed for just 28 audience members each time crammed onto uncomfortable benches around the perimeter with a narrow central strip for the 6 performers to use. 34 bodies in close proximity packed into a metal box with no sense of social distancing and not a mask to be seen; even Covid deniers might baulk.

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‘A vivid snapshot’: THE COVID-19 TRILOGY (Online review)

In Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

It was just about a month ago that I observed that considering the dominant story of all our lives for the last 18 months has been the pandemic, there haven’t really been all that many direct responses to it in the form of theatre pieces. A new addition to the Scenesaver platform looks to rectify that particular shortfall with three monologues about individual experiences and response. Called starkly The Covid-19 Trilogy it comes from Elysium Theatre Company which is based in Durham. During the pandemic they released two sets of five monologues and the three pieces in this set are taken from these. Presumably they are a “best of” collection to whet the appetite; the rest are available on the company’s You Tube channel

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‘Gentle, life-affirming production’: Around The World In 80 Days – Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds (Online review)

In Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Around The World In 80 Days is best known for the iconic 1956 David Niven film rather than the original novel by the prolific French writer Jules Verne; this version seeks to restore the original storyline to the centre of the narrative but does so with one playful eye on the theatrical possibilities where much is left to the audience’s imagination.

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‘Thoroughly gruesome but mesmerising’: UNDER THE FLOORBOARDS – Edinburgh Fringe (Online review)

In Edinburgh Festival, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

The real life figure of Ed Gein looms large in horror films and literature. Most famously he was the direct inspiration for Norman Bates in Psycho and his terrible influence can also be found haunting The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence Of the Lambs. But I’m not sure his real story has been told quite so directly as it is in Under The Floorboards which played live at the Edinburgh Fringe and has now emerged as an online performance film at this year’s Festival.

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‘Taking off in an unexpected direction’: The Little Glass Slipper As Performed By The Queen of France & Her Friends / Metamorphosis – Edinburgh Fringe (Online review)

In Edinburgh Festival, Features, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Two well known tales with a twist: The Little Glass Slipper As Performed By The Queen of France And Her Friends and Metamorphosis. The second piece now tops my personal Edinburgh Fringe online chart.

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‘Bolstered by some good renditions of songs of the era’: The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign / My House – Edinburgh Fringe (Online review)

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I set off for Hollywood, California via Edinburgh, Scotland and Adelaide, Australia. No, I haven’t finally lost it, this was my online trip in both time and place courtesy of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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‘Two ecology conscious plays’: Tree Confessions/We’ll Dance On The Ash Of The Apocalypse – Camden Fringe (Online review)

In Features, London theatre, Online shows, Opinion, Other Recent Articles, Regional theatre, Reviews, Touring by John ChapmanLeave a Comment

Though the big guns which are at the Edinburgh Fringe have now been rolled out, it’s taking some time to pin down what to aim for there. Meanwhile its somewhat smaller sibling is continuing in Camden and so I thought I would take a break from Edinburgh brochure browsing and pick up on a couple of shows from a Festival which is much nearer geographically and boasts some interesting online content. My choices narrowed down to a pair of performances which took ecology as one of their central themes.