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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.

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