Skip to main content

Love And Information at The Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The second performance I saw from the Northampton University Actors was a version of Love And Information by Caryl Churchill. Although I do not know whether this was an adapted version or not, this was a very fast paced and snappy show.

Short snippets, much like watching a sketch show, but with an much serious as comedic. Because of the shear pace, nothing ever really outstayed its welcome if there were dud parts (of which there were a couple). However the performers presented it with such style that even the poorer parts were easily ignored.

I particularly loved the running joke presented from the back of the stage of the poor lady failing to get any interest whatsoever from her partner. Likewise the glorious "red flower" speech was superb and delivered perfectly, sadly who by, my mind is a blur (Edit: It was Zoe Harbour. *applause*). This was due to the countless characters and scenes, and never due to the performers. By the time one scene was finished, I had already forgot who was in the previous one.

Actually this once again highlights for me the skill involved in these stage performers. I could go to the shop to get bread and milk and come back with bread and cheese. So I truly tip my hat to those that can perform such a complicated play as this, or even any play over two minutes, if it was down to me.

Also the shear style with how tables and chairs were placed was lovely. I may be easily pleased, and not a snooty theatre critic, but put simply, I like what I see and it was glorious on the eye. I am thinking this would be Nik Corral and Lily Bootman to thank for this?

The ear was also pleased (I have discovered that my selected seat is rather close to the speaker), with a nice mixing of music to connect the scenes, I shall name check DJ Walde again for this, who was equally impressive on Animal Farm.

Finally I would like to return to the play proper and highlight what for me was the best scene and for what generally was a light-hearted show, it was a very serious one. The "piano" scene as I will call it was just so simple and yet so powerful at the same time. It was also superbly played, and you know who you are. Unfortunately I don't, and I must stop now as I have to go and get some milk...

*

I have to take this opportunity to applaud the young actors involved in these two performances over the last few days. I have seen a few plays now on stage, mostly in London and for me these young performers for the most part entertained me in the same way as the "stars" of the West End. Likewise I have seen enough television over the years with some substantially inferior acting than that on stage at the Royal in the last couple of days and for me that should stand them well in the future. I look forward to seeing them again, wherever that may be.

Popular posts from this blog

Review of DNA by University of Northampton BA Actors at Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate, London

The final year performances of BA Actors this year upped sticks and headed away from their Northampton Royal territory and gathered to show their skills in London.

The first of the three shows being performed was Dennis Kelly's DNA, a play which I saw performed on the Royal stage itself four years ago. I enjoyed it for its dark mysterious nature and was looking forward to seeing a different interpretation of the show. It tells the tale of a group of youngsters who do something really bad, and proceed to attempt to cover it up, resulting in the real bad, well, getting more bad. It's dark yes, but also, very funny at times.

It opens with a looming movement piece of theatre, which I always love and this was no different for me, brooding and sinister. It's quite a long opening, which perhaps, in the end, becomes too long, but it's a fabulous piece of theatre for me. It set's the scene very well for Kelly's dark piece to unfold and in the hands of these, about to gr…

Review of Crimes Under The Sun at The Core, Corby

It is safe to say that there have been a lot of Agatha Christie spoofs kicking around over the years, they are ripe material to plunder, and often feeling as if the original author was even sending them up at times as well. So, to discover another one on stage at The Core Theatre in Corby is no surprise.

New Old Fiends' Crimes Under the Sun is a patch above many of them, a speedy, witty and genuinely ingenious take on a Poirot influenced case (no prizes for guessing Evil Under the Sun). As our lead, we have a curiously Belgian detective Artemis Arinae, Poirot in all but name, and more specifically gender (it's the first thing I noticed about her, to steal a joke). The show opens relatively badly, with a rather long introduction from our detective played by Jill Myers. It is the only downside of the evening, as once the stage is full of the quite brilliant collection of characters, this show whips along with an amazing intensity.

The characters created in Crimes Under the Sun …

Review of The Wizard Of Oz by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

The last couple of shows from the award-winning Northampton Musical Theatre Company has been a slightly mixed bag, with their last show at Derngate the rather difficult to get a grip on thrills of Grease, a woefully inferior stage version of the classic film despite being very well performed. Their best show recently was ironically Summer Holiday, hidden at the much smaller Cripps venue. Therefore still in the wake of the exceptional Sister Act, does The Wizard of Oz create the Derngate magic once again?

The answer for me, is both yes and no, it is as always an exceptional production filled from top to tail with talent, as NMTC is so renowned for, and packing the audience in and thrilling them like perhaps nothing like Oz can in the musical department, you cannot question its selection really. However, like Grease, and to readjust a requote, "it's just Oz". This time I use it in the way that Oz is just a little over-familiar, I am desperate for the buzz that I got from