Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival: Styles Theatre Company - The Little Prince at Northampton Shoe Museum

So the Flash Festival had begun for 2015 and this year there were to be sixteen shows across the six days and I was to see them all (and *gulp* try to review them all).

My first one of the week was The Little Prince by (Jenny) Styles Theatre Company. This was a show I had had a little preview of earlier in the year as a work in progress at a R&D Open Mic Night (here). It tells the tale of a little Prince (you don't say) and his adventures across a collection of random planets. Based on the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Jenny translated the tale into a storytelling style. This is quite a departure from any Flash I have seen previously, but after the general trauma of many subjects in 2014, a blessed relief for the lighthearted nature of it.

Having seen a few storytellers this year, I have to say that Jenny presents one of the most acted ones I have seen. The tale is full of dynamic movement, and gesturing of hands and a box of many talents to vividly transport us across space. I suppose it is obvious however that the acting part would be strong from an acting student, but it is refreshing all the same and really adds to the tale.

The use of little projected drawings is nice depicting little moments from the original book and the subtle use of music added to the atmosphere at just the right moments. If I was to have just the one criticism, I would say that it might have been a little longer, promised sixty minutes, we got roughly forty.

However is was for that time a delight and a refreshing way to get away from the general grind of day to day life. Jenny has a tremendous strong telling style (no pun intended) as good as many I have seen and perhaps may well be a route she might take travel in the future. I myself would happily see a future version of The Little Prince and any more she wishes to tell.


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 Hansel & Gretel by Warts & All at Delapré Abbey, Northampton

For those unfamiliar with Kneehigh Theatre (from where this show originally comes), the best way of explaining them is that they do traditional things, differently. This performance by Warts and All Theatre of their adaptation of the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel tells you much of what you need to know early on as a (human) rabbit is pinned down upon a table and skinned (half their costume removed). It is just one of an evening of wacky and quite brilliant moments as this production sours mostly for the sky of brilliance.

Handed to a cast of young performers, the result is often disturbingly professional. Sure it is still rough around the edges at times, but perhaps this helps the material. It doesn't actually matter if there is sparring from the cast with the audience, knowing looks and playfulness. It doesn't matter if one of the cast nearly knocks the cymbal of the musicians flying, perhaps it would have been even better if they had, this is anachic fun at its very b…

Review of Great Expectations by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Market Boy from The Actors Company last year was a remarkable show and is likely to stay with me for a long time, so following it with this year's production was always going to be a tough call and with their production of the epic Dickens classic Great Expectations, they at least didn't lack ambition.

I have to be honest, things for me didn't start well. The first few minutes of this adaptation by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod is a busy and convoluted sequence moving the opening part of the story in an unclear and often irritating way. For those present not aware of the original story, I wouldn't envy them trying to keep up with what is going on. However much of the trouble of this opening sequence is quickly corrected as scenes become more defined and controlled and the story is allowed to develop at a slower pace.

Perhaps also in the early part, it doesn't help either that the gender-swapped Magwitch played by Salli Bersham is a little too full on with the o…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…