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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.

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