Skip to main content

Review of Ten at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It would frankly be strange to mention the curtain call for a show at the very beginning of a review, however for Ten, a celebration of ten years of work from the Youth Theatre, Young Company and The Actors, is epitomises perhaps everything to say of the show. A near work of art in itself to shepherd 188 performers onto the stage as quickly, but as respectfully as possible to each individual, is a mind boggling proposition. A curtain call should never be underappreciated, as it is how you leave your audience, and Ten got it perfect.

Those 188 performers created during this 90 minute show a collection of original pieces and selected extracts from plays performed in the past. From the original pieces, Gathering Dust by Georgia Tillery was my favourite, offering a fabulous response from the audience as well as the really young youth theatre group portrayed a collection of old folk attempting to make a break for freedom. It was a really funny piece, which the youngsters clearly had great fun with themselves.

It was wonderful to see little snippets of pieces that I have seen in my time watching the shows, including the very first show I saw the groups perform, Elements of War by The Paper Birds. Like a few of the pieces selected, I am not totally sure how this worked for people unfamiliar with them. However none outstayed their welcome, if anyone was getting confused by what was going on.

An extract from Aftermath by Daniel Bye offered a timely reminder of how amazingly powerful that particular play was, while Hacktivists was re-imagined with a very different cast, boding well for the future of the young company. It was also lovely to hear once again the words of Helen Gibb in her respond piece Hi Mum, It's Me.

New piece highlights for myself were Words, Words, Words by David Ives with all the foolish chimp antics, and an incredibly well received extract from Ayckbourn's The Revenger's Comedies. Hilarious stuff!

The style of the mysterious girl in the attic to bridge the piece worked extremely well with the magic of clothes (mostly shoes) offering windows of a sort into each part of the play. The finish also was a lovely way to conclude it as well, which could happily allude to our future pieces of clothing to be put on to bring forth the next shows. I myself have my leg warmers ready and waiting.

However, this was not really about the material for me, but more a recognition of the achievements of the companies themselves. I may have only been a part of the audience for less than three years, but I pride myself that I have been there for every show the companies have produced since March 2014 (some more than once) and I sincerely hope that I get the chance to continue to be a viewer of everything they bring to the stage for many years to come.

A massive congratulations to:

Performance reviewed: Sunday 6th November, 2016 at the Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton.

Ten was performed at the Royal & Derngate on 
Sunday 6th November, 2016 only.

For further details visit the Royal & Derngate website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Rules For Living at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

It is possibly a rule in life for a few in the audience for the opening night of Sam Holcroft's domestic comedy Rules For Living not to mention Christmas until December. Therefore anyone of such a persuasion might have been a little perturbed to be presented on the 13th September with, an undeniably brilliantly dressed, homely Christmas scene.

Opening up in glorious dollhouse style and on a gorgeous little hinge, this little home of living room and kitchen sets the scene for a typical family Christmas. Mother Edith (Jane Booker) welcomes her sons, Matthew (Jolyon Coy) and Adam (Ed Hughes) and their respective partners, Carrie (Carlyss Peer) and Nicole (Laura Rogers) And with a final dramatic arrival of father Francis (Paul Shelley), the scene is very much set for comic antics of the highest calibre.

The first thing you get from Rules For Living in the first few minutes is the arrival of one of the most brilliant, yet simple concepts I have seen for a while in the play. These are …

Review of Make Way For Lucia by John Van Druten at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

There have been a couple of television versions of the Mapp & Lucia novels by E. F. Benson over the years and irrespective of which generation version you might have seen, the roles of Miss Mapp and Mrs. Lucas were filled with some heavyweight performers. So taking on these roles could, in theory, be a challenge too much to live up to. However, that would be if the characters themselves were less the sum of the performer. These are great characters on paper as well as on stage and therefore Gena McCrystal (Miss Mapp) and Juliet O'Connor (Lucia) make them very much their own in the stage adaption by John Van Druten.

Lucia has arrived and breezed both into the town of Tilling and the musical chair roundabout of house rental that is want to occur here. Her rented property is Miss Mapp's and for some reason, Mapp fails to follow the routine of keeping away, constantly "popping in", so the battle lines are drawn.
Make Way for Lucia is the typical battle of supremacy i…

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…