Skip to main content

Review of UoN Fringe 2019: Welcome To My World by The Realistic Theatre Company at The Platform Club, Northampton

For my second show of the 2019 University of Northampton Fringe Festival, it was a head-first dive into mental health (and this was not going to be the only show exploring themes on this during Fringe), and Amy DaCosta's Welcome to my World from her company The Realistic Theatre Company.

This particular take on mental health was exploring Dissociative Identity Disorder, which was not one I was aware of going into the show. However, over thirty minutes, DeCosta went some way in helping a little to understand this, it is as it turns out multiple personality disorder, and here DaCosta explores a woman that has several hidden people while embracing as much as possible her real one of Zsofia.

Welcome to my World is at times, and maybe deliberately so, a little confusing. As the characters become dominant, while DaCosta's characterisation is very different, the stories they tell can take some following, and indeed a discussion after was the only way to get a grip on certain aspects of it. However, perhaps that is very much the point, not only to generate talk, but also to confuse and make the audience member a little insecure about events, like the character herself.

DaCosta, however, is a strong performer, clear in delivery, and some nice vocal and visual tones to create the different personalities and to tell the tale, in a storytelling form, a method I am a great fan of, and here, she exhibits a great future potential to move into this field if desired.

Staging is simple but also features some excellent use of a table to create various objects and locations. Tech is nicely handled, including some great use of pre-recorded audio, which is accurately performed within by DaCosta.

Welcome to my World is difficult to watch, it should be I guess, and the life of Zsofia is a tough one, and here with the show, there are unfortunately no happy endings. However, life doesn't always provide that, so, perhaps theatre shouldn't always either, and that maybe makes this show stronger for not providing one and leaving us thinking of the issues raised all the more.

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