Skip to main content

Flash Festival: Part One - Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover & Sell By Date at the Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

May 12th 2014 saw the beginning of the Flash Festival presenting the dissertation performances for the Northampton University students and A Small Mind clasped ten tickets for as many as he could muster time for.

*

The first was Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover by Pure Industry (aka Kathryn Alice and Emily-Claire Potter). A clever piece of work using both real life and stark personal material, this little play told us quite clearly that when we look at someone, perhaps we do not see the whole picture.

The staging was simple and clever with books aplenty scattered around and used well throughout, culminating in a well presented final part where their beavering away out of sight becomes clear. During the show there are also some well choreographed scenes, depicting personal distress.

The final scene is also stark and clear with the two performers laying themselves bare with Kathryn Alice visibly suffering for her performance. Powerful and meaningful, with a strong and very true message.


I confess, I liked this little play quite a lot.

*

My second play was the very dark, very funny and very powerful Sell By Date. From Marbleglass and featuring the talents of Marcus Churchill, Ashley Cook, Joseph Derrington and Sophie Murray, this was a gem. Setting the bar even higher for the week ahead.

Mixing music, dance, comedy, strong drama and in one particularly outstanding part, some very clever puppetry.

The performers in this group were particularly strong and I remember them well from their parts in Animal Farm (Animal Farm review). Whether playing the clown or deadly serious moments, they were at the top of their game. Even this early in their hopefully very successful careers.

The play itself was broke up into many parts, cleverly interchanging the aforementioned clowning, with the heavy and, yes, very emotional parts.

The previously mentioned puppetry scene was my pick for the best part. However the very rude, offensive, politically incorrect and therefore very funny, stand-up routine performed by Derrington had to be my second pick, particularly with the emotional pay-off.

I will also remember fondly the slightly ruder Two Ronnies bar scene and the best set change joke I have yet heard.

Overall this was a very clever, well written piece in need of your viewing as you may not find a better hours entertainment for a while for £6. Go see!


Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover is on at the Looking Glass Theatre on Wednesday 14th at 7pm and Saturday 17th at 2pm

Sell By Date is on at the Looking Glass Theatre on Wednesday 14th at 10am and Thursday 15th at 7pm.



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…

Flash Festival 2018: Persecuted by United-Force Theatre Company at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

It's perhaps a shame that the major talking point after United-Force Theatre Company's production of Persecuted is its final scene, and more so over the sheer realism of it, rather than anything directly related to the acting and writing of it. The shame is that it overshadows what is quite a brilliant piece of theatre in its own right, well constructed and superbly acted by the trio in the group, Alexander Forrester-Coles, Chris Tyler and Radostin Radev.

The date is 11th May 2005 and the Iraq War is no longer having the initial success that it had after destroying Sadam Hussain's regime. In a camp in Basra, Mohammed bin Osama bin Laden (Radostin Radev) is captured and under interrogation by commander James Farrell (Alexander Forrester-Coles), the good cop of the story, and Dan (Chris Tyler),  a Lieutenant, very much of the bad cop variety.

It's an ugly, but also a very vivid tale, claustrophobic and always intimidating. When the actors are not churning through the int…

Flash Festival 2018: Drained by Open Eye Theatre at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

Back in 2015 when I was attending my second year at the Flash Festival, I had the pleasure of seeing a show called I Forget What I’ve Forgotten, a solo show performed by the superb Catherine Garlick, it was very much based on personal experiences, and it was one of very few Flash shows that I have made time to see a second time. That second time, it became the only Flash that I stood at the end of (to date), and it was the first that emotionally hit me hard.

While I didn't stand at the end of Open Eye Theatre's Drained (I was incredibly close), it left me a spent force of emotion. My fellow blogger and companion of the week The Real Chrisparkle, witnessed my tears, and I was actually perhaps as emotional as I have ever been at the end of any theatre show.

Drained was a slow burner of emotion, which I guess just gently took hold like no other before. Our three characters, Laura (Bryony Ditchburn) and her two brothers, Will (Robert Charles) and Jamie (Jake Wyatt) gather at the wa…