Skip to main content

Review of No Way Back by Frantic Assembly at the The Core, Corby

Having worn out the seats at Royal & Derngate the perfect opportunity arose to experience the little brother at Corby. The Core is situated in the impressive Corby Cube and offers a mix of theatre, cinema and the dynamic space known as the Lab. It is, I have now found out, a wonderfully gorgeous modern theatre. Stylish stage, comfortable seating (the front row I sat in had interestingly low seats for me but huge leg room) and wonderfully cool.

The performance I had made a ninety minute bus ride for was No Way Back, a Frantic Assembly/Made In Corby production that utilised local non professional talent. Bringing personal stories from the community performers, Frantic created a unique physical production that anyone who has seen A Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time might be familiar.

Despite using what were effectively members of the public there was no let up in the performances they were given to do. There were two performers I was familiar with ahead of seeing the show, these being Masque Theatre's Lisa Shepherd and India Martin who I had seen in this years superb production of Connections play Hood. All others were new to me although no one in the cast left a greater impact on myself (and many others I suspect) than Maureen Gallacher. Commanding her scenes with elegance and grace, she is a star find.

The bulk of the major parts are performed by the professional performers its true but at all times the community are all part of the action and they blend with them professionals perfectly.

The show is blessed also with magical tech and design. Andrzej Goulding's video design is a thing of beauty and in Maureen's rage scene in particular it becomes theatre gold. The use of mannequins is a neat and effective idea and that sudden appearance and face moment provides quite a neat treat. As do the superb quick moving costume rail scenes.

Directors Scott Graham and Neil Bettles have worked hard in just three weeks to create real homegrown magical material and I am so glad that I made my first trip to the Core to see this stunning show.


Performance reviewed: Friday 10th (matinee), 2015 at The Core, Corby.

No Way Back runs between Thursday 9th July and Friday 10th July, 2015 at The Core, Corby. Details here: 
https://www.thecorecorby.com/Productions/2015-2016/225704/FANWB

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Bombshell by Contact Light Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Warning: This review contains spoilers

Whether it is an overwhelming success or mostly a failure, I have over the years grown a huge affinity for fresh new work on the stage. The need to regurgitate and rework old pieces continuously may well get easy bums on seats, but at the end of the night, it has no doubt pleased a few but it hasn't really made any future impact on theatre of the future. Presenting a new play and new work, however, who knows what it might have seeded in the years to come?

Therefore as I watched Bombshell, not only a new play, but also the first offering from a new theatre company, I was thrilled that first of all, it leaned much more towards the success line, and also that over half filling the theatre, it had also put quite a few of the bums on seats as well.

Curiously I have recently read Festen by David Eldridge, and while Bombshell goes much its own way, I felt early on, I (and perhaps others in the audience), felt I had a distinct advantage over some of …

Review of Balm in Gilead, University of Northampton BA Acting (Creative Acting) at Maidwell Hall, Northampton

Watching the production of Balm in Gilead sees my entering the fifth year of following the University of Northampton acting students, and what theatre they have provided over the years!

Balm in Gilead is no less intriguing than anything that has gone before, written in 1965 by Lanford Wilson, you might think this would be a dated item for the young students to be performing, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Set in a cafe (transposed to England from its original American setting), it sees the lives of addicts, homeless and sex workers converge into a mixture of good but mostly bad moments.
My first time in the Maidwell Hall saw an encounter with a brilliantly realised community full of the world of the cafe and the surrounding homes, cardboard boxes and dishevelled beds. As we enter the characters of this world begin living alongside us, addressing us, begging us for money, pushing shopping trolleys around offering off the cuff exchanges with the audience and confronti…

Review of This Evil Thing at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

This Evil Thing written and performed by Michael Mears isn't my first encounter with a play about conscientious objectors, however, it absolutely is the most detailed in its explanation of the subject. A clear and absolute labour of love from Michael Mears, and an obviously very personal thing for him, it leaves the audience pretty much in its grip for the whole of its 80 minutes.

Almost uniquely, our performer Michael Mears is in the theatre stalls upon entry, observing the arrival of the audience and indeed exchanging conversation at times. It's fascinating to see a performer not only there, but seemingly so relaxed pre-show and as he bounds on the stage at show start, this little nugget proves intriguing in itself.

Michael Mears is a captivating presence on stage, as previously experienced on the same stage in A Tale Of Two Cities and The Herbal Bed, therefore it comes as little surprise that he has a confident ability to make a one-man show work, and so well. With the use …