Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: Push & Shove by Crisis Point Theatre at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

Despite being a long term blogger, the alternative vlogging has mostly passed me by and I have rarely sat and watched many and certainly am not an avid subscriber of one, however the social revolution of them has not passed me by as I am very aware that many people make an awful lot of money nowadays as vlogging stars. In this Flash show Olly Manning plays one such vlogger and in Push & Shove, he has something very special for his subscribers.

To be perfectly frank, that something special is really quite simple to guess. I realised very early the contents of the ominous box that Olly's character Jared Howell presents to his audience at the start of the vlog, and it is clear very early on who is going to be on the end of the said contents as Jared goes through his pretty bleak piece to camera. However guessing does not change the impact of this cleverly put together play.

At the basis of this Flash is another issue play, this time mental illness, one which thankfully is gaining more and more recognition after having spent too long being ignored, most especially in the male gender. Push & Shove handles it with a nice touch, allowing the story to unfold in a believable way, Olly chipping away for the audience the emotions of Jared beneath.

There is a delightfully well-sung song during proceedings to music nicely played on guitar by Luke Mortimore, although this did get me wondering how we were meant to interpret his appearance as everything was supposedly done live. Was this chap sitting in the corner of the room observing Jared as he made his final vlog? It just felt strange as everything else was intuitive and being created very naturalistically by one person for his audience. Not a problem, just a little something I was unsure of.

There is also an issue of performing to a camera for a vlog for the audience within the room and this was slightly made more problematic by the configuration if the seating with audiences on two sides rather than the usual format, which could have meant it was presented front on, instead of often to one side.

However this was a powerful piece of theatre well performed by Olly, which while didn't hold much surprise (except for one member of the audience), was very well constructed and believable in its telling of a very real issue that the world needs to deal with.

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Madame Bovary by Masque Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Rosanna Lowe's version of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary was originally commissioned by Simon Godwin for the Northampton Royal Theatre, so it perhaps seems apt, that it returns to a stage of the same town, in this new wacky interpretation from Masque Theatre.

Masque's publicity for the show, describes it as a "madcap tragedy", and for those more familiar with Flaubert's novel you shall perhaps be a little surprised by the anarchic version created here. This is tragedy played for full-on slapstick effect, and while at times it might seem overwhelming in its intensity, the ride we are taken on is a delight.

Directed by Tamsyn Payne and Alex Rex and a team of talented creatives, Madame Bovary's props and design are every bit as important as the talented cast wielding them. For an amateur production, the attention to detail is nothing short of staggering. Gloriously created books filled with delights, puppet dogs and children, mini nuns, and little baskets…

Review of The Selfish Giant at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The Selfish Giant is a curious one. I left uplifted and genuinely happy by the whole affair, yet slightly perturbed as to whether at its heart, it was actually as good as the heart was saying.

Based on a short story by Oscar Wilde, songwriter and musician Guy Chambers has given the piece a musical workover. The Giant (played by Jeff Nicholson) has a wonderful garden which the local children love to play in. However, this is a selfish giant after all, so, annoyed by their presence, he builds a wall to prevent them from entering. The scene is set for this story of personal redemption.

Creating a sung-through musical is a challenge, and Chambers succeeds in The Selfish Giant, although perhaps at the cost of a great deal of variety to the pieces. The weakness of The Selfish Giant always lies at the heart of both lacking numbers you take with you after the show, and indeed variety. The appearance of the giant, in the pacy and deep, real deep, vocals in The Angry Giant is one clear example,…

Review of UoN Fringe: PROJECT 25 by Unorthodox Theatre Collaborations at The Platform, Northampton

This production from Unorthodox Theatre Collaborations is a curious one to review, as I didn't see all of it. PROJECT 25 you see is an immersive, interactive play, where we the audience become very much part of the emerging story.

We are introduced, after being name-checked and tagged, to The Platform, a pharmaceutical company that has come up with the perfect drug that could save the health care system. Or so they say.

The play launches with a smart little-choreographed routine from the cast (and some extra actors), which culminates in company staff member Amy Brown (Jemma Bentley) being sacked and expelled from the building. As Bentley is a cast member, we, of course, know that her return will happen, but in what form?

After this neat and impactful opening, we are led into another room and presented with a glossy and technically impressive launch from the company team Pandora Pearson (Bobbie-Lee Scott) and James Van Laren (Daniel Peace). Following this, we are subjected to a sc…