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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.

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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.

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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.



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