Skip to main content

Review of Flash Festival 2019: A Minute To Midnight by Ruminate Theatre Company at Castle Hill URC

Connie, Harper and Freya are in a flatshare. One night Freya brings home Imogen, a homeless girl she has befriended. So far, so simple, however, that is if we haven't already seen the rather dramatic opening sequence, a flashforward to what is to happen involving said new person and Freya herself.


A Minute to Midnight works on a few levels and fails on others, the story, that of some sort of miniature cult involving some sort of preparation for some sort of disastrous global event is far too vague at times, to allow its audience in. It leaves us occasionally bored and wanting more information to keep our interest.

Fortunately what is great are the performances, despite us frequently not totally getting their motives, the characters themselves are nicely rounded individuals. Freya is played with a finely developing way by Mia Leonie, initially in control of events with her new introduction, but gradually changing as things over time develop in a way she dislikes from the new girl.

Georgie Morna-Arkle is equally good as this new woman Imogen, the second of the two characters with the full character development through the show, leading from the innocent, but then gaining more confidence as she becomes more vital to events.

Tonia Toseland is confident as the effective group leader Connie, while Amelia Scott is great fun as Harper, the complete opposite end of the group, at the bottom, almost along for the ride, but most definitely bringing most of the humour into the show as a character.

A Minute to Midnight is as a piece of drama a bit of a disappointment, not intriguing enough to keep the interest, with vagueness taken a little too far. However, perhaps the main thing to acknowledge is that all the performances are fine, and while they have maybe done themselves a little disservice with the material, it is far from a total disaster.

Performance viewed: Wednesday 3rd April 2019

The Flash Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 7th April 2019 at venues across the town.
Details here: 
Flash Festival 2019

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