Although I always have the best of intentions about promoting and reviewing online young people’s theatre, I’d be the first to admit that it has often taken a back seat. I’ve now tackled a very high percentage of shows on the regular list so I’m going to make a rather more concerted effort to engage with those on the junior version and get this up to the same level. I thought I’d start by heading for one where the title had long intrigued me.
Do these two pieces push the idea of audio theatre to its limits? Probably and the results are highly pleasing
Siobhan Bremer’s A Theatrical Life is very much a piece which will more readily appeal to members of the profession and those interested in the mechanics of the business called show.
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
Although I’d still give a best company name prize to recent Edinburgh appearees (??!) Expial Atrocious, running them a close second is Smoking Apples – though I’d be hard pressed to identify why. The group have been around for about ten years and have carved out a definite niche for themselves by making use of puppetry and developing a particular visual style in order to explore issue led topics. Their 2018 show to celebrate the anniversary of women’s suffrage has continued to develop and was taken on tour backed by the Institute of Physics as a way of encouraging teenage girls to go into STEM based careers (science/technology/maths). In its latest iteration it has become a filmed record called Flux – Digital.
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.
Footprints Festival at Jermyn Street celebrates female empowerment
Theater In Quarantine has now established itself at the forefront of innovative technique and have found some surprising ways to utilise the limited performance space at their disposal.
Late Night Staring At High Res Pixels is a dense and intense piece of work which examines the interplay of relationships but leaves the audience to come to its own conclusions about the motivations and intentions of the characters.
Ancient Myth clashes with modern Myth in a powerful rock musical about fame and mental health.
A pandemic sweeps the land and the government introduces new quarantine rules – yes, that is the plot of The White Plague, not the news headlines.
A rom com with a dark edge makes for good Valentine’s Day entertainment
The past and the present are brought together in Flight Paths, a piece which can, at first, seem disjointed but ultimately reveals its intricate design and some clever paralleling.
Donna Kay Yarborough and Ted McGrath are to be applauded for putting their monologues Rosegold and Good Enough about coming through the rigours of addiction online.
OnComm nominated production Cupid’s Corner features a young, committed ensemble cast which demonstrates potential.
Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland is being freestreamed by Chickenshed, the north London youth-oriented community theatre, and is the latest in a long line of releases from them this year.
The Charles Court Opera team, working at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington, presents Snow White In The Seven Months Of Lockdown.
I wonder how the defiantly independent Jane Eyre would have coped with the prospect of self-isolation, a reality which had 62,000 people tuning in to watch her journey of romance, betrayal and self-discovery.