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 This Evil Thing at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

This Evil Thing written and performed by Michael Mears isn't my first encounter with a play about conscientious objectors, however, it absolutely is the most detailed in its explanation of the subject. A clear and absolute labour of love from Michael Mears, and an obviously very personal thing for him, it leaves the audience pretty much in its grip for the whole of its 80 minutes.

Almost uniquely, our performer Michael Mears is in the theatre stalls upon entry, observing the arrival of the audience and indeed exchanging conversation at times. It's fascinating to see a performer not only there, but seemingly so relaxed pre-show and as he bounds on the stage at show start, this little nugget proves intriguing in itself.

Michael Mears is a captivating presence on stage, as previously experienced on the same stage in A Tale Of Two Cities and The Herbal Bed, therefore it comes as little surprise that he has a confident ability to make a one-man show work, and so well. With the use …

Review of Balm in Gilead, University of Northampton BA Acting (Creative Acting) at Maidwell Hall, Northampton

Watching the production of Balm in Gilead sees my entering the fifth year of following the University of Northampton acting students, and what theatre they have provided over the years!

Balm in Gilead is no less intriguing than anything that has gone before, written in 1965 by Lanford Wilson, you might think this would be a dated item for the young students to be performing, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Set in a cafe (transposed to England from its original American setting), it sees the lives of addicts, homeless and sex workers converge into a mixture of good but mostly bad moments.
My first time in the Maidwell Hall saw an encounter with a brilliantly realised community full of the world of the cafe and the surrounding homes, cardboard boxes and dishevelled beds. As we enter the characters of this world begin living alongside us, addressing us, begging us for money, pushing shopping trolleys around offering off the cuff exchanges with the audience and confronti…

Review of Bombshell by Contact Light Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Warning: This review contains spoilers

Whether it is an overwhelming success or mostly a failure, I have over the years grown a huge affinity for fresh new work on the stage. The need to regurgitate and rework old pieces continuously may well get easy bums on seats, but at the end of the night, it has no doubt pleased a few but it hasn't really made any future impact on theatre of the future. Presenting a new play and new work, however, who knows what it might have seeded in the years to come?

Therefore as I watched Bombshell, not only a new play, but also the first offering from a new theatre company, I was thrilled that first of all, it leaned much more towards the success line, and also that over half filling the theatre, it had also put quite a few of the bums on seats as well.

Curiously I have recently read Festen by David Eldridge, and while Bombshell goes much its own way, I felt early on, I (and perhaps others in the audience), felt I had a distinct advantage over some of …