Skip to main content

Review of the University Of Northampton BA (Hons) Acting Graduate Showcase 2017 at Tristan Bates Theatre, London

For the third year running, I had the pleasure of being allowed to see another batch of talented actors strut their stuff on a London stage in front of the agents and directors of the acting world. This is always a key and very final moment of the course, and at no point will these people perform together again (although wouldn't that be neat to have performance reunions in years to come!).

There is little point in my going into too much detail again over the performers really as I have done this elsewhere in my final review (click me!). However, the show under the direction of Simon Cole was a neat "showcase" of their talents once again, whipping between scenes featuring duos or trios glued together by swift scene changes. It really was a seize the moment as the actors never got very long to prove themselves.

The format (and some of the content) was the same as last year, and a couple of my picks were Diary of a Madman featuring two superb comic moments from Karr Kennedy and Jessica Bichard, while there was tense stuff from Olivia Sarah Jayne Noyce and Benjamin Hampton in the snippet of Patrick Marber's Closer. I really enjoyed seeing a tiny moment again of Let the Right One In featuring Kundai Kanyama and Ben Barton, although for those who haven't see the full and really quite brilliant play might have struggled on the context.

Luke Mortimore and Tom Garland creeped us out with their piece from Perve and the lady trio of Jennifer Wyndham, Becky Fowler and Jessica Bridge entertained with the rather random scene from Di and Viv and Rose. There finally it all culminated with a brilliant finish of a scene from Morning, where Daniel Ambrose-Jones as his wide-eyed character got more than he bargained for from a menage-a-trois with Jennifer Etherington and Rachel Graham-Brown.

At the end of the show, there was a gathering of everyone in a nicely relaxed meeting where finally myself and fellow blogger The Real Chrisparkle finally got to speak to a few more of the students. There were sandwiches and prosecco and much frivolity from this likeable group of students. They have always mostly been very likeable over the four years I have followed them and that must surely be a strength to be such in this field. However, beyond that, they need strength and drive to move them in a crowded field. I hope like all previous ones they do have this, they were a great bunch, all of them and as always at this departing time, I wish them all tremendous success in the future. Go conquer!


Popular posts from this blog

Review of Flashdance - The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes

For the second week running, the Milton Keynes Theatre is overrun by a wave of eighties nostalgia as Selladoor's production of Flashdance The Musical follows hot on the heels of An Officer and a Gentlemen. However, is it nice to have more of that classic decade upon the stage? The answer mostly is yes, despite the fact that the story driving Flashdance is that light and flimsy at times, you just have to sit back and watch the dancing and the bright colours to get you through.

Welding genius, Alex Owens, has her sights set for a bigger thing beyond this tired and struggling factory in Pittsburgh.  Hoping to take her dancing beyond Harry's bar, she plans to make big, via Shipley Dance Academy.  Then, also drifting into her life comes Nick Hurley, who initially unknown to her, happens to be the factory bosses son, the scene is set for romance.

Flashdance has a generally excellent cast led with a tremendously good performance from Joanne Clifton as Alex Owens. Those familiar with …

Review of Bugsy Malone (Clyde Company) at The Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Last night I was back at Royal & Derngate to see the Youth Theatre/Young Company production of Bugsy Malone, this time seeing the almost completely different cast of Clyde Company. This second evening of the show had the fortune of running much smoother, with less of the technical issues that had beset the previous evening and restricted the success of some of the scenes.

It was most apparent in the Fat Sam's Grand Slam scene, which became a greater hive of activity, with a full dance routine taking place, which unfortunately hadn't happened the previous night. Leading this scene was a full-on performance from Morgan Charles as Tullulah, exhibiting the vocal talent, and most especially the dance skills she had shown in last years Fame.

In the lead for this second company, and taking a much different approach to the role, was Nathan Stroud. Here we had a more mature Bugsy, not just in age, but in personality. The slightly more serious style worked excellently alongside a st…

Review of The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

During the interval of The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband, last weeks production at The Playhouse Theatre Northampton, I got involved in a conversation between a couple sitting next to me. The lady was very much of the opinion that the play was a comedy, while the gentleman, had formed one that it was a tragedy. They were joking of course in the conversation, but it did highlight the differences that Debbie Isitt's dark comedy might have between the sexes. And also now perhaps the passing of time. When this was written in the nineties, Isitt's play was a forthright feminist play, heralding the championing over of the ladies over the man. One the ex-wife plotting to cook him, the other, the new lover, potentially already very tired of him after just three years.

The husband, Kenneth (Jem Clack) elopes initially in pursuit of sex with Laura (Diane Wyman), after his nineteen years of marriage with Hilary (Corinna Leeder) has become tired and passionless. Then later, he elopes secr…