Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival: Duality Theatre Company - It's Starting To Grow On Us! at the NN Cafe

The ultimate in relaxed festival atmosphere was achieved leading up to the start of Duality Theatre's performance with the two performers mingling effortless with the audience in the bijou NN Cafe.

Sarah Kirk and Samantha Colden are our performers for a storytelling performance the like of which I haven't seen previously. This is a relaxed, lackadaisical show with a frequently bickering duo which belies the tough subject matter they are to tell. This is all about the unmentionable big C and its effect on not only the sufferer but the family and friends whom surround.

During the forty minute show and despite Sarah irritatingly (for Samantha) strumming her ukulele and Samantha being challenged with accents and donning false eyebrows, some real tough material is mined. There is heavy and very detailed material in this script, certainly well researched with lots of technical terms you could only guess at the meaning of.

However despite all the heavy subject, it is always kept on the right side of tone. Silly but gorgeous little things like the mirrored journey through the hospital, think an epic plane exit routine and you won't be far wrong. Then we have balloon blowing with yet another uncomfortable wait for the pop like Sidetrack's show and throw in a bit of failed hula hooping and you have a comfortable way of listening to a tough subject.

There is much to love about this show and the way that Sarah and Samantha make it all so effortless in their performance. A dream duo and and a performance straight from the heart which manages to encompass truly silly antics, singing, and ukulele playing while maintaining the true tough story it is telling. Just gorgeous.


The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Blue/Orange at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The challenging and socially relevant Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall was published in 2000 and back then, this caustic exploration of mental health, and more specifically black mental health issues, was a tremendously relevant play. When it debuted on stage in London, the cast of just three was played by Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Director James Dacre doesn't have those names to play with so much in his cast, however here, he has worked with the writer himself to rework the play for a more modern audience. Does it still shock, and is the relevance still there today? Sadly, perhaps, the answer is yes, as doctors Bruce Flaherty and Robert Smith come to verbal blows over the health of patient Christopher, at times, you feel 21 years shed little light on how mental health is approached. Many references in the script, still sit unquestionably in the year 2000, however, with this reworking, one thing has changed dramatically. In the original version of the play, the two

Review of Shrek (NMTC) at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Three and a half years ago, in a land far far away, in a world very different to the one we are now in, I saw the touring professional production of Shrek The Musical , it was a mixed bag of quality, tilted extremely heavily in favour of one particular character (not the one you might expect) and not firing on all cylinders much of the time. One and a half years after my last visit to the Derngate theatre, I return to see the homegrown Northampton Musical Theatre Company's own take on the very same show. Would they be able to breathe more life into the show than the professionals did in that distant land? It is a bit of a yes and no really. Pretty much all of this is done to the best possible standard, and at times, with being an amateur show you could easily forget, they all have normal day jobs. The show oozes professional quality at times. The set looks magnificent, the costumes (from Molly Limpet's Theatrical Emporium) are superb, and as ever with NMTC, the backstage team c

Review of Hacktivists by Ben Ockrent performed by R&D Youth Theatre at Royal & Derngate (Underground), Northampton

The National Theatres Connections series of plays had been one of my highlights of my trips to R&D during 2014. Their short and snappy single act style kept them all interesting and never overstaying their welcome. So I was more than ready for my first encounter with one of this years Connections plays ahead of the main week of performances at R&D later in the year. Hacktivists is written by Ben Ockrent, whose slightly wacky but socially relevant play Breeders I had seen at St James Theatre last year. Hacktivists is less surreal, but does have a fair selection of what some people would call odd. Myself of the other hand would very much be home with them. So we are presented with thirteen nerdy "friends" who meet to hack, very much in what is termed the white hat variety. This being for good, as we join them they appear to have done very little more than hacked and created some LED light device. Crashing in to spoil the party however comes Beth (Emma-Ann Cranston)