Sarah Finch

Review Double Dipp Date Night at The Sherman Theatre by Sarah Finch

Double-Dipp-3

“Love is blind…until you turn the lights on”

It’s Friday night, which means it’s Date Night!
On the 10th of July in the foyer area of The Sherman Theatre, my ‘date’ and I were asked to slap on a name tag and take a seat ready for an hour of comedy gold presented by Double Dipp! We mingled with the rest of the audience and before I could take any more in we were thrown into the mix of three dates; an inappropriate venue, speed dating and a couple trying to spice up their relationship.
Whilst the all too relatable subject matter of the performance kept the entire room laughing throughout, I felt it was the chemistry between actors, actors and audience that made the show. It was those moments that had those real, hilarious stomach cringing truths that either you or ‘someone you knew’ had been involved in and the perfect delivery that kept those laughs coming.
Double Dipp have managed to create a brilliantly timed show that starts with a bang and keeps that high paced energy going through until the end, from observing the audience I can safely say this was a massive hit especially with the older generation of viewers that I had anticipated would tut and frown as oppose to the raucous outbursts of laughing that they did.
Well done to the Double Dipp Team, Louisa Marie Lorey and Geraint Jones, your supporting cast and to Chelsey Gillard on your directorial debut! Comedy can be seen as a risky, hit or miss business but considering the loud applause and standing ovations received, people will definitely be waiting in anticipation for Double Dipp’s next bout of hilarity.

Catch Double Dipp’s debut show Pick n Mixx at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 17th-22nd August.

Review Beneath the Streets: Lost and Found Hijinx & Punchdrunk Enrichment by Sarah Finch

Beneath_the_Streets_-053_cropped

Before starting this review I would like to congratulate the collaborators Hijinx and Punchdrunk Enrichment on arguably the most incredible and engaging immersive, site specific performance that I have ever had the pleasure of participating in, a bold statement that I hope this review provides justification for.

“We’ve all lost something: glasses, keys, memories, love, loved ones, our way…Are these things gone forever or have they found a home elsewhere? Hidden in Cardiff is a world of lost things. In the shadows, behind closed doors, we await you”

On Wednesday the 1st of July I joined a steadily growing queue outside the Maldron Hotel in Cardiff to see Beneath The Streets: Lost and Found. An exciting buzz of anticipation was rippling through the audience and before long a briefing on what was to come was delivered, along with mandatory dust masks. The buzz was now turning into excited curiosity as we were  led to the front doors of Jacob’s Antiques Market.

Upon entering the space I was immediately drawn to the attention of detail that had been used. Given that I am familiar with the regular layout of Jacob’s Antiques Market I was extremely impressed with how the design team and stage carpenter had utilised the space given to create this incredibly beautiful maze spanning two floors. I will admit I had trouble finding my way around for the first 15 minutes. Everywhere you went you were met with a corner, a drape or darkness! Opening doors to nothingness, dim lighting that cast shadows over performers and beautiful decorations adorning different sections of this new world.

My particular favourite was a pyramid made from pages and pages of books in the section of lost words, the impressive set design continued as I found myself being led by an actor into a dark room lit with a few candles, to be told a tragic love story, only to find him conversing through a non-existent mirror with his lady-love. An extremely clever trick that left myself and the other audience member, that had been lured to the ‘other room’, in complete shock. Upon discovery of the lower lair I came across sets of actors telling different stories, all looking for something or finding something. Ascending to the upper we were greeted with corporate scenes, scientists, products, offices and even a small exhibition. Eventually a message sounded over the tannoy asking that all staff report to a meeting on the upper level, the audience then witnessed the delivering of an elixir which had side effects on every staff member. The staff began to engage with the audience, but in a different way than before – this was then our signal to be led out.

I feel that words simply cannot describe how beautiful, thought-provoking and magical the experience was. Every actor was superb, it was inspiring to see the relationships between characters and the chemistry felt in each situation, credit is due to all that participated. The set and costume designs were outstanding and considering how much effort had gone into stage production I felt this really complimented the actors and helped to bring the performance to life.

As an actor that has performed in immersive theatre I applaud with admiration each and everyone that performed in this flawless production, immersive theatre is the most exciting of theatre forms that I hope all actors enjoyed delivering to their audience. With the element of lost and found I can speak from personal experience when agreeing that I did lose myself here because I was so completely engaged with this perfect production, I will definitely be the first in line for tickets when Hijinx and Punchdrunk Enrichment honour the people of Cardiff with another outstanding show.

Review Love & Money, Waking Exploits, Chapter Arts by Sarah Finch.

willthorp2586198

On Thursday 18th of April I attended Chapter Arts Center in Canton, Cardiff to view the production Love and Money.

Love and Money tells the story of relationships, heartache, sacrifice, obsession and money within the marriage of a young couple, David and Jess. Written by Dennis Kelly, we follow a young woman’s all too familiar addiction for material items with an expensive taste and the severe consequences that follow.

Love and money takes the audience on a roller coaster of emotions as we see the destruction caused by Jess’ craving to spend money, her husband David’s plummet into desperation trying to fix the overwhelming debt that has been caused and the eventual demise of the relationship.

The playwright cleverly uses scenarios such as online romance and favours from friends to gain empathy from the audience, the situations become relatable and we begin to question ourselves if we would also behave and react in the same way in which the characters do.

Whilst initially shocked at the predicaments our characters had to face I then began to wonder, what would I have done? Would I take the job? Would I have called the ambulance or would I have taken David’s route and helped Jess to end it all? It certainly left me with an internal struggle to which I’m still unsure the options I would have chosen.

Funny but tragic, Love and Money is thought provoking and leaves us with the idea of can money truly buy happiness? Or does it leave you with a broken heart, an empty bank account and a relationship with no trust.

YC Review, Hide by Deborah Light

hide04

 

Photo credit John Collingswood

On the 22nd of February I was fortunate enough to attend Deborah Light’s production of Hide at the renowned Chapter Arts Centre based in Canton, Cardiff

Upon my reflection of Hide I have come to the realisation that Deborah Light has managed to create such a beautiful and effective performance piece that has left a lasting impression on every viewer. By using only a few lights, minimal props and clothing, Hide forces the audience to pay more attention to the exceptionally choreographed tango, the breath taking solo pieces and experience the passionate message delivered by each dancer.

Hide manages to cleverly play with the audience emotions, seeing a naked Jo Fong laughing one moment and bordering the tears next instantly creates a confliction of feelings within us, I instantly felt a sense of distress, as though I should be rushing forward to offer my jacket to help hide her modesty. Watching the high intensity, fast paced and articulate sequence delivered by Rosalind Haf Brooks left me wonderfully exhausted and in awe of how amazing the human body can be moulded into creating such a stunning art form. And finally Eddie Ladd’s simple choice of words managed to force the viewer to take a look and question themselves and society’s judgement on others.

It constantly left me waiting with baited breath, unaware and excited by what was to follow. I found the piece a journey of self-discovery having never experienced this type of performance art before. It opened my eyes to how movement, sound and spoken text could mould together to create such a valuable eye opening experience that I would definitely want to encounter again. Deborah Light has created something raw, stripped back and bare and in that sense we cannot hide from the moral story that is being played out in front of us. Do we force people to hide? Or are we hiding ourselves?

Sarah Finch