Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: Exposure by Imagine That Theatre Company at St Peter's Church, Northampton

The Play That Goes Wrong is undoubtedly one of my favourite plays (I have seen it three times so far as well), and Imagine That's Exposure is a clear homage to that very show (and indeed all its own influences through time). A group of five actors are about to perform a live television performance of The Picture of Dorian Grau, and they are absolutely planning on it going tremendously smoothly.

Lewis Hodson
Lee Hancock
It doesn't of course and for the best part, this little production does much of its buffoonery very well. There's more than a few issues and fluff, and at times it feels a little too wacky for its own good, however, this is slapstick and it is not meant to be clever.

The best part of this show, and one which The Play That Goes Wrong does perfectly as well, is the opening gambit of audience interaction. During the buildup to both shows, things are amiss, in one the set is falling apart and needs help (cue audience member), in this one two of the actors can't find one another and seek the assistance of the audience. This unscripted, reactionary piece featuring Lewis Hodson and Lee Hancock is genuinely and perhaps awkwardly the best part of the show due to an excellently reacting, mostly student audience. It makes you wonder if there might have been tumbleweed moments at the other two performances.

Lauren Scott
Hans Oldham
The rest of the show is hit and miss, when it works, like Lauren Scott being a tremendous bloke, it's great. When it doesn't, repeating the same joke, it annoys rather than thrills.

Exposure's biggest problem lies in being too loving of its influence. At times it is so close to The Play That Goes Wrong, is loses all of its own identity. Characters are largely similar, you have the audience reactionary one (Ben Barton), you have the lady and her relationship with another character, the Chris Bean identikit (Hans Oldham).

Ben Barton
I wanted to love Exposure simply because of its love of that other show, and to be honest I loved it more than I hated it. The opening sequence was magnificently entertaining and Lewis and Lee were a tremendous doubleact and perhaps the strength of that particular sequence that performance was detrimental to the rest of the show. It was however much more fun than glum and at the end of an hour that is absolutely fine.

Performance viewed: Thursday, 25th May 2017

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

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 …