Skip to main content

Review of UoN Fringe 2019: Clickbait by Flashdrive Theatre at The Platform Club, Northampton

The opening show of the 2019 Fringe Festival (dissertation performances for (BA) Acting and Creative Practice Students) was everything as bold as its predecessors in 2018. During its first year, the Fringe established an audacity to its shows immediately and with Clickbait it was already very good to be back at the festival.

Clickbait is presented by Flashdrive Theatre, made up of performers Shona Bullas and George Henry, and from the outset of the two performers standing in their underwear, we knew this was going to be bold, brave and indeed painful (for them) theatre.

Henry plays Luke and Bullas is Emma, and both run YouTube channels, Luke-ing Good and Emmazing, and while they have some individual success, they seek, like all in this area, more. After a meeting, they create crossover videos on each other's channels and a partnership is quickly formed into a dual channel, LukeandEmma (it rolls off the tongue better, Luke says).

What surprises with Clickbait is how many morals are managed to be explored within it, and it is very tricky to explain without spoilers. However, suffice to say, this exploration digs deep into how desperate some attempts at fame actually can become as Emma and Luke do increasingly desperate and "clickbait" driven projects, at their own personal detriment, both physically and emotionally.

Bullas and Henry are extremely likeable performers, willing to submit their all into the show. There is a quite brilliant Livestream section which happily epitomises this commitment, going through a series of challenges that might make you cringe and squirm a little just watching. This enthusiasm for the piece makes the whole play stronger as a result.

Unfortunately, on this opening performance, there were a few technical issues, with some video becoming crackly on the actually brilliantly put together video sequences, which was a great shame. Also, the loss of one mobile phone output on the television screens was disappointing.

However, technicals aside, Clickbait was a really clever and interesting exploration of the world of fame today. Running at 50 minutes or so, it was nicely substantial, but never boring as the pace is maintained and was an excellent introduction to the world of the Fringe Festival for anyone paying a visit for the first time (including my reviewing companion The Real Chrisparkle). Clickbait entertains and intrigues throughout. Great stuff, so get clicking on that ticket site now and book-up!

Performance viewed: Monday 29th April 2019

The Fringe Festival 2019 runs until Sunday 5th May 2019 at The Platform Club Northampton, and one show at Hazelrigg House.

Details here: Fringe 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