Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: Dispensible by March Theatre Company at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

Dispensible from March Theatre Company concluded my packed five-day charge through this year's Flash Festival and if I was at all jaded by the sheer amount, this fifteenth one-man show would have revitalised me back to life with its intensity.

Ruark Gould presents us with three soldiers through time, like Dickens' ghosts, the past, the present and yet to come. Via this sharp neatly performed show we see that no matter when the traumas of warfare are the same. Sure the future is imaginary, but it is believable in every way, and to quote a game franchise, it's true that "war never changes".

This was the only Flash this year in the vault space of Hazelrigg House with its compact 10-15 seating space, and perhaps it truly is perfect for this play. Allowing us to experience the claustrophobic nature of encampments and dugouts like those the character lives through. We are absolutely in the environment of this play and with its clever use of lighting and indeed absolute darkness, not possible anywhere else, this becomes a rightfully traumatic affair at times.

Ruark brings the characters to life well, although they are a little similar at times by their nature and I have to be honest I didn't fully live the path of the storyline much, just feeling that we had crashed into their lives for a brief period and then the play stops.

So Dispensible was interesting but never the high point of this year's Flash (but far from the bottom point), it was excellently performed but just a little lacking in the material at times.

Performance viewed: Friday, 26th May 2017

The Flash Festival 2017 ran between Monday 22nd and Saturday 27th May 2017 at three venues across the town.

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Disney's High School Musical by NMTC Youth Society at the Cripps Hall Theatre, Northampton

As a regular theatre-goer, and indeed reviewer, I have learnt over the years that not all theatre is really for everybody. It's pretty obvious a statement really, but with reviewers, unlike regular theatregoers, you end up by default attending shows you might not dream of going to see as a normal customer. Maybe High School Musical is one pretty close to the top of the list I would only see on "official reviewing duty", as it's not really for a 40-year odd person. However, beyond that, the Northampton Musical Theatre Company Youth Society has come up with a really pretty impressive production of Disney's classic teen musical.

This is a very dramatic departure from the inaugural production of the Youth Theatre in 2018, Les Misérables (much more my thing), however, perhaps unsurprisingly it is better suited to the performers here. Their enthusiasm is even more evident to that previous production. Here, unlike the horrors of revolution-torn France, they can have fu…

Review of The Full Monty at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

The 1997 film The Full Monty is one of the best regarded of relatively recent British films, due to it being both a warm and emotionally strong tale, solid comedy and a wealth of acting talent, and it's no surprise that its very theme has spawned an immensely successful touring stage version. It literally overflows with the opportunity to be performed in front of a, probably mostly female, audience, well, the final scene does, in any case. However, what of the rest, and how about for a male audience member? So to speak. Well, it was time to find out.

The first thing that is apparent from The Full Monty stage show, is how faithful this is to the film. Much of the show is what you have seen if you have seen the film, but translated cleverly to the stage, it feels just that little more real and gritty as well. It opens with a nicely staged scene of darkness and flashes of a torch as Gaz (Gary Lucy), his son Nathan (Fraser Kelly) and Dave (Kai Owen) break into their former factory wo…

Review of The Bodyguard at Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes

The 1992 film The Bodyguard starring Kevin Costner and the acting debut for singing megastar Whitney Houston, was a slightly average romantic thriller, which is really mostly remembered for its musical turns from Houston, so, it is perhaps surprising that it took a whole twenty years to make it's transition to the stage as a musical version. Premiering in London in December 2012, ten months after Houston's tragic death, the show has had great success around the world, and with this, it's second UK tour, has a recognisable face in the star role, of Alexandra Burke, former X-Factor winner (curiously not mentioned in her programme biog).
The Bodyguard follows the story of former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer (Benoît Maréchal) who is hired to protect multi-award-winning music star Rachel Marron, following her receiving threats from a stalker.
It's clear from the bold opening performance that Alexandra Burke as Marron is not looking to imitate Houston in…