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

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Bugsy Malone (Clyde Company) at The Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Last night I was back at Royal & Derngate to see the Youth Theatre/Young Company production of Bugsy Malone, this time seeing the almost completely different cast of Clyde Company. This second evening of the show had the fortune of running much smoother, with less of the technical issues that had beset the previous evening and restricted the success of some of the scenes.

It was most apparent in the Fat Sam's Grand Slam scene, which became a greater hive of activity, with a full dance routine taking place, which unfortunately hadn't happened the previous night. Leading this scene was a full-on performance from Morgan Charles as Tullulah, exhibiting the vocal talent, and most especially the dance skills she had shown in last years Fame.

In the lead for this second company, and taking a much different approach to the role, was Nathan Stroud. Here we had a more mature Bugsy, not just in age, but in personality. The slightly more serious style worked excellently alongside a st…

Review of Planet Circus OMG! 2016 at Billing Aquadrome, Northampton

An unexpected call from a friend who had received a free ticket, à la Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, to go and see a circus for free, left me sitting in a circus tent a few hours later for the first time in about thirty years.


It was a wise, albeit on occasion, scary decision. I have to confess that when seeing shows like this, where there is an element of danger involved I do tend to squirm into the chair I sit. This happened mostly during the opening act of the second half of the show, the suitably titled Wheel Of Death. I rolled into an uncomfortable ball, while the five or six year old behind me gleefully shouted that "they are going to die!".


This was a scary welcome to the second act, after the first much more relaxing first half. It works excellently and is credit to producer and director Mark Whitney that the show is perfectly balanced, with the bulk of traditional circus arts in the first half, while the more spectacular and often more modern feeling ones are in …

Review of The Crucible at Royal & Derngate (Underground), Northampton

A few weeks ago I headed down to London to see this years graduating University of Northampton BA Actors perform Arthur Miller's classic The Crucible, and while it was generally spotlessly performed, as expected, the staging of it was tremendously dull, offering little stimulation beyond just the words being said. It made a classic, quite dull as a result. There was no such issue with The Actors Company production, staged in the atmospheric Underground space, and directed with such style and flair by Fay Lomas, to make Miller's play unrecognisable from that London version.

Based around the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts, Reverend Parris (a tough uncompromising performance from Steve While) comes across a group of girls dancing in the forest. When one of the girls, Betty (Laura Green), falls into a coma, events spiral out of control for many of the residents of the town, as accusations fly. Soon, Judge Danforth (Sue Whyte) is on the scene, and the lives of the residents a…