Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival: Garlick Clove Theatre Company - I Forget What I’ve Forgotten at the Looking Glass Theatre

For my first three shows I had generally been presented by fun and frivolity, my fouth was however to be a much tougher watch. It was however a most brilliant one. The best solo Flash I have seen so far, and up there at the very top with the best of them.

The rather wonderful Catherine Garlick was our solo star. Having not quite been given the chance to shine at the very top with her University shows so far, the glimmers of the potential were there in Macbeth were she was a devastatingly powerful Malcolm despite her slight frame. It was for me excellent news when I heard she was to do a solo show as this was her moment. Its safe to say she truly seized that moment as in I Forget What I've Forgotten by her theatre company Garlick Clove she gave one of the best student performances I have seen.

The first thing I will say here is that if you are to see the show, and it's without question I tell you to do so, please stop reading now. There are spoilers ahead that you must not see.

We are presented at the start of the play with four coat stands, one of which is empty. The others contain jackets/coats of relevance of what is to come. There is also what appears to be table at the centre of the set with a table cloth across it. Before Catherine arrives we are presented with an old video of a young family scene, this returns between each part with different playful moments of growing up. We can guess who is featured within these old videos, but for now minus sound, it hangs in the air unanswered.

Catherine arrives and puts on one of the items of clothing and through each of the three parts these separate visually the three characters of the play. However jacket or coat apart, these are three superbly separate characters that Catherine creates in such a short period of time. We have the very well spoken daughter, we have the playful and young child with Growler in tow and we have a nurse in a care home. These three characters all have a link, the theme of the piece Alzheimer's Disease. Through these characters we see the devastating impact that the disease ravages on families or those they care for. The well spoken daughter and her tea towel wrapping mother, the child "Ninja" and the disappearing tales from her grandfather, and the nurse treating the residents of a home including a man predating granny. There is much love in this piece as well as great sadness and at all times it is performed with such skill that you live every moment of these people.

Then we have the crunch as Catherine removes the nurses uniform and moves to the empty coat stand. The videos return to the screen, this time with audio and are suspicions are confirmed as we see that this for Catherine is not a tale of fiction, but one of personal experience. The reveal of the "table" and where the missing coat is, is truly a moment of brilliance and poignancy. However then we are treated by a scene that will remain with me for much time to come. Nowhere will you see a coat on a hat stand bring such emotion to an audience as this did. It was an incredible moment from a superb show and it will be I feel be virtually impossible to beat this week.



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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Madame Bovary by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Rosanna Lowe's version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary was originally commissioned by Simon Godwin for the Northampton Royal Theatre, so it perhaps seems apt, that it returns to a stage of the same town, in this new wacky interpretation from Masque Theatre.

Masque's publicity for the show, describes it as a "madcap tragedy", and for those more familiar with Flaubert's novel you shall perhaps be a little surprised by the anarchic version created here. This is tragedy played for full-on slapstick effect, and while at times it might seem overwhelming in its intensity, the ride we are taken on is a delight.

Directed by Tamsyn Payne and Alex Rex and a team of talented creatives, Madame Bovary's props and design are every bit as important as the talented cast wielding them. For an amateur production, the attention to detail is nothing short of staggering. Gloriously created books filled with delights, puppet dogs and children, mini nuns, and little baskets…

Review of Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

I am personally all about making Shakespeare accessible, I take the Emma Rice line, that many were not keen on, that after a few hundred years, it's perhaps worthy of mixing it up a bit to make it more meaningful to a modern audience. I have a feeling the man himself would have no qualms about seeing his classic Hamlet transposed into a garish multi-coloured world, set in a much more hip place.
The Denmark that we see here and that is still referenced, is now very much an African country, and not just because of the heavy black actor casting, this is all about a style and a carnival feeling to many of the scenes. Music is provided by tribal-like drums, and characters stalk the scenes carrying handguns and rifles, bringing a modern feeling to the conflict as well. This is certainly not the "rotten state of Denmark" that most Shakespeare aficionados are familiar with.
Characters are changed drastically as we have more cocksure, swaggering, modern feeling to the individual…

Review of The Rover at the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton

I have seen very little restoration comedy, and with Playhouse Creatures early this year, very much Restoration period, Masque Theatre has provided much of it this year, with this edition of Aphra Behn's 1677 play The Rover or The Banish'd Cavaliers. Behn was quite a landmark writer, recognised as one of the first women to make a living from writing (and has an extraordinary real-life worth researching). Perhaps having watched The Rover now, you can see why her work might well have been accepted back then. It is suitably bawdy, really extremely rude at times in places, definitely farcical (with disguise situations aplenty that wouldn't fool a blind man with a blindfold on) and perhaps most importantly, makes the woman much of the time the victims in the frequent sexual exploits. It clearly wasn't being anything that a man of the time wouldn't write, and probably means it lay a suitable path for success for Behn as a result.

The Rover itself is tremendous fun, ploug…