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Flash Festival 2017: A Guide To Perfection by Sample Theatre Company at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

Sample Theatre's Flash shows bravery straight away when you enter the performance room as they have broken many of the conventions of a piece of theatre. Set up with several tables banquet style, we sit around them. There are broken sight lines in abundance and occasionally you can't even see the performer at all. On paper, this is a disaster of a piece of staging, however, its relaxed style actually is beneficial to the show as you duck back and forth observing each of the three performers, like an observer at a restaurant or other social event. The room is also cleverly given a long mirror on either side that when you don't catch your unexpected reflection, offers an alternative take to view the performers.
Florence Waite

The three performers are Samuel Littlewood, April Lissimore and Florence Waite and create fun and interesting characters. Florence was my favourite, often in the corner in hopeful control of her lighting/sound deck in this neat format of a play before a play. She is the perfect foil for this show about perfection as she self-doubts herself at every opportunity and there is a lovely aww moment of her hopeful glance to Samuels character.
Samuel Littlewood

Samuel and April appear to provide the "perfection" of the title, however obviously they are not. This play pretty much makes it clear there really isn't any such thing and in reality the pursuit of it is pointless, perfection is both in the eye of the beholder and the confidence of a person.
April Lissimore
Samuels character clearly shows that to be pursuing such a thing makes you potentially a very shallow person as you spend your life preening away at your hair or despairing at a spilt coffee stain. There is some great humour to be had from this production as well, especially in the scenes of the devil and angel on the shoulder.

It all heads to a conclusion of the opening of the seminar, which we happily see little of and provides a nice ending, if ironically the audience was a little unsure whether it had or not. Curtain calls were a fascinating thing to behold during Flash this year.

However, this is great entertainment, innovative staging and a thoroughly fun show with three very well-balanced performances.

Performance viewed: Wednesday, 24th 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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