Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2018: Static by EVE Ensemble at St Peter's Church, Northampton

I was just short of the right age to witness raving first hand in 1990, and my sheltered life would probably have resulted in my missing it anyway. However, perhaps based on Static from the quintuple of lady performers in EVE Ensemble, it was perhaps a lucky escape.

While they are clearly having immense fun in their raving, brilliantly recreated in two scenes in this production, things turn quickly into a mess, as Dani (Kate Morgan-Jones) decides that a bit of dealing will help the bank balance. So recruiting her mates, including the new girl, the posh and very innocent Emma (Ellen Tritton), they set about distributing the merchandise. This sequence includes trying to sell the gear to us the audience in a nicely worked scene, and also with the performers dealing with different replies, one of which included Tritton smoothly dealing with, brilliantly in character, with a specific request from one audience member. Neat work!

Static is a bit like an all-girl Trainspotting, fun and entertaining, but clearly mostly heading for disaster, so you have to be prepared for the consequences of witnessing Cat (Tiffany Mae Rivers) injecting, over-dosing, and nearly dying in the aisle of the church. The power of scenes is where Static is at it's best with those like this, and brilliant confrontation ones between characters and of course the rave ones.

There are some amazing performances going on as well. The always strong Kate Morgan-Jones is again incredible as the domineering Dani, leading iron-fisted over her friends and controlling what they do and when they do it. It switches though nicely in performance though when she discovers Cat, and the consequences of what she does tells on her friends as the story develops.

Ellen Tritton is wonderful as Emma, all brilliantly awkward, and oh so believable, keeping it just the right side of being just that little bit too silly. Her dancing during the rave scenes was a thing of comic genius as well. It's also a nicely developing character of building toughness as well, which Tritton creates superbly. Megan Leask-Walters meanwhile is tough as nails as Lou from the start, but also cold as ice and very much not a team player. Events spiral terribly for her character, as for all in this tough play, and Leask-Walters depicts the emotion of this with an impressive intensity.


Georgi McKie's Smush is perhaps the intelligent, sensible one of the original four and you can't help but root for her, and hope that she runs. Finally, though, I really enjoyed Tiffany Mae Rivers' performance of Cat, she is probably the strongest written of the five characters, and the story arc the most troubled, amongst a troubled lot, and she performs the role brilliantly.

Staging is clever, and as long as you could see developments in the aisle, perfectly fine, although I am sure that there would have been a few audience members missing some of the action. One criticism though would be the overuse of the smoke machine, absolutely fine during the rave scenes, but often far too much of a distraction during scenes it simply wasn't needed for.

For me, Static is more about the performances, than the actual depth of the story. The story is mostly very simple but allows the characters to be the important factor, which shows the quality of the actors within it. Tough, challenging theatre, and thoroughly entertaining.

Performance viewed: Thursday 26th April 2018

The Flash Festival 2018 ran between Monday 23rd and Friday 27th April 2018 at three venues across the town.


Photos: Looking Glass Theatre

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Blue/Orange at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The challenging and socially relevant Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall was published in 2000 and back then, this caustic exploration of mental health, and more specifically black mental health issues, was a tremendously relevant play. When it debuted on stage in London, the cast of just three was played by Bill Nighy, Andrew Lincoln and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Director James Dacre doesn't have those names to play with so much in his cast, however here, he has worked with the writer himself to rework the play for a more modern audience. Does it still shock, and is the relevance still there today? Sadly, perhaps, the answer is yes, as doctors Bruce Flaherty and Robert Smith come to verbal blows over the health of patient Christopher, at times, you feel 21 years shed little light on how mental health is approached. Many references in the script, still sit unquestionably in the year 2000, however, with this reworking, one thing has changed dramatically. In the original version of the play, the two

Review of Sister Act by the Northampton Musical Theatre Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

South Pacific at Royal & Derngate last year set a remarkable benchmark for an "amateur" production, with a large talented cast, superb vocals, sets and a polish up there with a professional production. Sister Act, this years production from the Northampton Musical Theatre Company was more of the same, but perhaps taken up a notch or two. Sister Act is a musical based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy and was first performed in 2009. Written by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, it is a likable and fun musical which genuinely came as a surprise to me. The opening scene at Curtis's Bar and Nightclub is to be honest not the best though and genuinely didn't fill me with much hope. It feels as if it gives nothing to the cast, although it creates the premise of the story coupled with the incident outside the bar. Likewise, I didn't take much to the Police Station scene either, so it didn't bode well. When we reach the Queen Of Angels Cathedral though, this show

Review of Shrek (NMTC) at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Three and a half years ago, in a land far far away, in a world very different to the one we are now in, I saw the touring professional production of Shrek The Musical , it was a mixed bag of quality, tilted extremely heavily in favour of one particular character (not the one you might expect) and not firing on all cylinders much of the time. One and a half years after my last visit to the Derngate theatre, I return to see the homegrown Northampton Musical Theatre Company's own take on the very same show. Would they be able to breathe more life into the show than the professionals did in that distant land? It is a bit of a yes and no really. Pretty much all of this is done to the best possible standard, and at times, with being an amateur show you could easily forget, they all have normal day jobs. The show oozes professional quality at times. The set looks magnificent, the costumes (from Molly Limpet's Theatrical Emporium) are superb, and as ever with NMTC, the backstage team c