Skip to main content

Review of No Way Out by Jean-Paul Sartre performed by The Masque Theatre at The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton

I found myself back at the Holy Sepulchre Church for the second time in a week for a performance of No Way Out performed by amateur dramatic company The Masque Theatre.

This was to be my first proper amateur dramatic viewing for as long as I could remember (ever maybe, other than school shows), so therefore it was an area much neglected by me. As the first arrival and with unreserved seating, I made my way to the front row after being beckoned in by a gentlemen, who would later become known to us as "The Waiter" in the main performance. This was a nice presentation touch which made me happy from the very beginning.

Now I am unfamiliar with Jean-Paul Sartre pretty much, but I was familiar with the famous quote "Hell is other people", so it was going to be interesting to see the origin of the piece.

The set was a simple three chairs (of varying types), a fireplace, a door and a bronze statue on a pedestal which worked well. There was also the interesting addition of three projection screens showing three views (the views of the three characters). One of these had the scary sight of myself being projected on it, and another sadly died towards the end of the performance. However this was a clever idea, just marred by technical faults, which was a shame.

The three main performers, Gavin Harrison (Garcin), Gemma Knight (Ines) and Lisa Shepherd (Estelle) were introduced to us one by one by the aforementioned Waiter, played by Gabriel Abrahams. All were excellent in their very different roles, hiding the secret of why they were in this place and sparring off one another well against each of their "torturers".

The play itself I have to say was fascinating, albeit pretty much grim with little humour. Although with the subject this is fine and I really did enjoy it.

Overall a superbly presented and performed show which I was happily surprised at the quality of. I have to say though that it was such a shame that the crowd was so thin for what an just eight pounds was a quality and friendly ninety minutes.

No Way Out is on until Saturday 5th at The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton. Tickets: £8.00

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Railway Children at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

This touring production of the very classic E. Nesbit tale The Railway Children adapted by Dave Simpson and directed by Paul Jepson delivers perhaps everything that someone familiar with the original tale would desire.

Yes, in this modern age we are treated to the more flashy projection images which while a little unexciting at times (and occasionally diluted in clarity by the other stage lights) provide a pleasing background nonetheless.

This production of The Railway Children though is still very much of its time, nothing exciting really happens, other than some petticots being removed infront of a train, that we of course know is going to stop, even if we don't know the story. It's all very safe, and perhaps that is why it appears the modern audience has less interest in it judging by the shockingly small audience on opening night.

However, those not there are missing out on just a really lovely piece of gentle theatre, that while not without its faults, holds the interest…

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…