Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival 2016: The Final Cut by LaZénna Theatre at Hazelrigg House (Studios)

The Final Cut by Elizabeth Adejimi (LaZénna Theatre) stood out early in the announcements of shows for this years Flash as the one that initially felt was going to be the hardest to view. Knowing enough about the subject matter of Female Genital Mutilation+ and understanding the absolute barbaric nature of the practice did make it sound that it might be a traumatic viewing. I probably felt that it was a subject that I felt I could do little about and really wasn't sure I wanted to sit through a forty minute exploration of it.

I was wrong though, as while this does become really difficult to experience at the important ending of the play, Elizabeth creates a living world to tell the story first in a vivid and entertaining way. Told through a variety of characters it appeals at first, before it finally appalls.

The main character of the young lady is magical and inspired, the large eyed innocent girl, staring up at her seniors, fond of stealing a snack or two and exchanging comical moments with her mother. She is a real character and your fondness grows for her as she goes about her life. At that time probably not knowing what is to come soon in her life.

As well as the female characters in the play, Elizabeth depicts a couple of male ones and perhaps the most absorbing one is that of the hunter. A tremendously stalking performance and one that really bleeds into the soul of a few of the audience as she stares deep into their eyes. It is however the female roles that are the most important in this story and indeed within the practice. These are, quite scarily the instigators in the continued practice of FGM, which of course makes the situation so much more unbelievable and distasteful.

The performance from Elizabeth is absorbing and the transitions between characters is perfectly planned, full of slow gliding movement and pauses as the various simple costume changes occur. It is all very effective and telling and puts across the practice in a thought provoking, but not preaching way. It is all really intelligent and I challenge anyone to come from the show without having learnt much more understanding of the barbaric act.


The Flash Festival 2016 runs between Monday 16th and Saturday 21st May, 2016 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2016

Popular posts from this blog

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)

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 Theft at the Castle Theatre Studio, Wellingborough

The comedy-thriller Theft by Eric Chappell tells the story of an anniversary celebrating couple returning to the devastation of their home being ransacked in a burglary. However, this ransacking pales in comparison to the ransacking of their lives that then occurs as home truths are revealed. Anyone old enough to remember the works of Theft writer Chappell ( Rising Damp and Only When I Laugh ), could be forgiven for thinking that this 1996 play might feel a little dated for a 2021 audience. However, bar a few references much of their time now (the weaker sex and female priests for instance), Theft still feels comfortable in the 2021 world, where many of us just want both a good evening of theatre and a good bit of fun. With Theft from the highly regarded Wellingborough Technical Players, they get just that. The action starts as we find the man of the house John Miles played by Graham Breeze returning, very angry, to his home. He is a rightfully boisterous character, channelling all th