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Flash Festival: Part Six - Taciturn at Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

Taciturn was originally to be my final show of the Flash Festival week, and if it had been, it would have left me feeling happy, sad and tremendously overwhelmed by the whole week.

Black Jack, made up of Danielle Gorman, Oliver Leonard and Matt Thompson was one of the most emotionally powerful productions of the week. Dealing with deafness in a funny, strong, interesting and riveting way, this was a little gem of a production.

Once again it was a more acting production with limited tech on display (although that SA-RAH piece was perfectly timed and elicited quite a reaction). And although some of the tech has been a joy to experience, I have much more enjoyed the nuts and bolts of what I think most of us are here for, and that is the solid performances.

Taciturn had this in spades, with three polished young performers doing just about everything right. Oliver Leonard solid and strong as the speech therapist and the provider of the laughs. While Matt Thompson played his deaf character to a tee, portraying his improving speech skills to perfection.

It has to be said though that for me Danielle Gorman was the pick of the three in what was possibly the toughest role of the week. Having to effectively portray her entire role with facial and physical emotions, she was near faultless and provided the tough emotional edge to the whole production.

Another impressive piece of this production was the use of sign language. I personally, a mere thirty years ago learnt some rudimentary sign language at lower school as in my class was a young lad who had been deaf from birth, and it is a shame on my part that this quickly waned and I have no ability of this skill now. However for the three performers to (presumably) learn this for their production is a credit to them and their work on this incredibly strong piece of theatre.

Powerful, emotional, humorous, the King's Speech for the modern age was a delight and up at the top for the productions of the week.


Taciturn was on at the Looking Glass Theatre.

The Flash Festival has now concluded for 2014, but the website is still active at http://flashtheatrefestival.wix.com/flashtheatrefestival

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