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!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

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 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 …