Category Archives: Theatre

Review Mermaid, Shared Experience, Sherman Theatre by Rebecca Hobbs

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Miranda Mac Letten, Amaka Okafor, Sarah Twomey, Ritu Arya and Polly Frame

Photography by Robert Day

 Writer and director Polly Teale’s Mermaid dives into the realm of feminist fairytales, embellishing the script with metaphors about finding a voice or a sense of self and struggling to break away from the the media’s artificial construct of beauty.  In a cross between the Angela Carter esque allusions to blood stained sheets and the mutilation of Lavinia in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, the Little Mermaid’s rite of passage into a woman is a far cry from Hans Christian Anderson’s childhood classic.

Beneath the ocean waves, life is not tarnished by the modern world’s inflictions and agendas. It is simple and carefree but the human world is too excessive in drumming its disillusioning message into us with the Prince whose post traumatic stress mirrors drowning, a cyber bullying attack and a media exposed bulimia case.  The little mermaid’s transition into a woman is witnessed by both the audience and a chorus of young girls didactically onlooking and partaking from the side of the stage, joining in the siren’s song.

Beautifully choreographed by Liz Ranken, the mermaids fluid movements are mesmerising. They do not need the shimmering tail to glide over the waves. The Little Mermaid’s (Sarah Twomey) movement is exquisite and her counterpart Blue (Natalie Gavin) balances this well with a heartfelt spoken performance. The calculated three-headed sea witch (Ritu Arya, Miranda Mac Letten and Amaka Okafor) is grossly captivating and the cast all really embrace this unusual merging of both physical and text-based theatre.

The symbiotic relationship between Blue and the Little Mermaid, Anderson’s tale and a contemporary growing up narrative feels somewhat hazy. I found that the production drowned out the script and because of this the complexity of what the script is trying to do is drowned out but this new material’s originality and ambition shows huge potential. A brave and inspired retelling.

Review I Need a Doctor – The Whosical by Hannah Goslin

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In the quaint basement of the Leicester Square Theatre, a minimal set with popular dance songs relating to Doctor Who (the worldwide Sci Fi show by the BBC) or in relation to the name, played as we entered – a box like structure the centre piece, covered in a black sheet.

This comedic yet purposefully amateur staged production brings the story of two die-hard Doctor Who fans, attempting to put on a short musical summing up 50 years of the story. Due to copyright and their failure at getting the BBC and key figures involved, they are thrown into a turmoil, but with a sense that the show must go on. This leads to ropey costumes, doubling up of characters and ultimately chaos.

With the intimate nature of this small space, the addition to the rejection of the celebrities added a form of comedy – the thought of them saying yes being less likely in such a scenario. It also brought a sense of connection with the audience, however there was a lack of interaction with the audience that could have been utilised very easily.

The story itself referred to many key concepts and repetitions in the show as well as references to West End and popular musicals – this was cleverly done in musical form with the accompaniment of a keyboard player using all the standard synthesised music on a keyboard, adding to the amateur feel that they had tried to express, and through moments of scripted descriptions of audience opinions of the show – for example, stating that they have arrived on another planet that for once does not look similar to a part of Cardiff – The show well-known to be filmed in this location.

These moments provided side-splitting comedic moments along with the changes of names of characters, locations and props in order to avoid the copyright law. Their way of tripping over these sudden changes, again, were very funny and continuously surprising with their intelligent substitutes.

With only two cast members (three if counting the keyboard player) their relationship on stage gave them the ability to bounce of each other and convincingly at times to fool us into believing that there were problems and real arguments over the chaotic changes.

Overall, this small and definitely hilarious show is something to watch. More suited to recent fans, there was a lack of more references to pre-2005 classical Doctor Who and so may lose older fans. However, those who enjoy the entire 50 years, theatre in general and/or musical theatre specifically will find something that will hold their attention and give them a fun experience.

Review These Trees are Made of Blood Theatre Bench Southwark Playhouse

Greg Barnett as The General in These Trees are Made of Blood. Photo Credit Darren Bell

My first time at the Southwark Playhouse, I was pleasantly surprised by the kitsch, unusual look of the place yet it’s homely feel. By spending time in this atmosphere, entering the performance space was a complete change of juxtaposition.

We entered a small and quaint little mismatched cabaret club. Music bellowed from the live band on stage and we were invited to sit around and in-between the action, such as one would at a club such as this.

The performance started before we even entered – the band already in full swing, cabaret acts performing in between the chairs and tables, the audience manoeuvring themselves throughout this world.

The narrative of this production was of the missing children in Argentina during the 1970’s and 80’s of which was the fault of the corrupt government but involving the viewpoint’s of both the corrupt and of the family’s that lost their loved ones.

For such a political and tough historical story, it was such an interesting take to create a cabaret club. The timeline of one mother and daughter and what the government had done to them was experienced through song, burlesque, magic and so on. Firstly, this being very comical, the realisation of the reality behind these songs and performances slowly became apparent and harder to find entertaining in the sense that normal cabaret aims to achieve.

By bringing events, both physically and vocally, we were forced to applaud these acts despite it feeling wrong to – the talk of murder, disappearance and rape; the heartache that the mother’s were feeling; the lies and the deceit of the government, all very hard topics to believe happened let alone congratulate as we would a poignant or entertaining piece of performance. This idea was perfect – to feel the shame and the sadness of this truth and to be forced as these victims possibly were was very cleverly executed.

Alexander Luttley in These Trees Are Made of Blood. Photo Credit Darren Bell

The performers themselves threw every skill into this production. Not a moment was lost and an evidence of trust within this hard-hitting story was present. By ending it such a heartbreaking way, showing us images of those missing and speaking through song about the sorrow that women who march still to this day for their loved ones feel, not only were there tears in the audience, but the tears and pain in the actors faces who could be congratulated as astonishing acting. However, it is my belief that these moments were more small glimpses into the feelings of the performers themselves. Training says that moments like this can destroy what pretence has been created, but this only brought more to the performance in showing how dedicated and moved they were for the narrative, and much respect gained for all those involved in the entire performance.

What makes this performance even more special is the abundance of Welsh performers and creatives. Ranging from Cardiff, to Pontypool and Swansea, it’s a continued selection of evidence the sheer talent that this country produces – and bringing this to London – a huge ocean of theatre – to see it striving as well as it has, in such a perfect location, brings much pride to myself as the London Correspondent for Young Critics Wales knowing how talented Welsh artists can be.

REVIEW: Moira Buffini’s ‘Blavatsky’s Tower’ 3 Crate Productions, Chapter by Sam Pryce

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The effects of social isolation have never been more relevant in today’s oh-so-social digital world. With social media companies swallowing more and more of our personal data, it’s certainly the right time to revisit a play that asks why a father might lock up his family in a top-floor flat, away from that world and the ‘crushed’ that live in it. Such a play is this 1998 work from the English playwright Moira Buffini: a tragicomic tale, ‘Blavatsky’s Tower’. Revived by the exuberant folks at 3 Crate Productions, the resonating themes and jet-black humour of ‘Blavatsky’s Tower’ are unmistakably relevant.

On the twenty-fifth floor of an ugly tower block, the ‘architect and visionary’ Hector Blavatsky, now blind and close to dying, lives with his three children – Roland, an embittered, resentful young boy engaged in writing his ‘Theory of the Universe’ whilst rotting his brain with hours of television; Ingrid, a sensitive girl who obediently takes note of each of Blavatsky’s bizarre visions; and Audrey, the only family member who has ever ventured outside the house (and has clearly become ‘crushed’ by it too). When Audrey brings home an aloof Dr. Tim Dunn to help her dwindling father, the true damage done to these children by such isolation becomes clear. The play reaches dark conclusions about family ties and how the society in which we live affects our treatment of others.

As dark and odd a tale it may sound, it is also very funny. Moira Buffini’s playful style means that the darkest moments are handled with rib-tickling absurdity, occasionally too much. In this play, it seems Buffini’s crowd-pleasing sense of humour cannot reach its full potential due to the rather bleak subject matter in ‘Blavatsky’s Tower’. Her style is much more suited to the sell-out, West End farces like Handbagged and Dinner for which she is now known, performed to packed-out theatres and five-star reviews. So, regardless of all the loose-ends that are left dangling here, this play is undoubtedly entertaining.

Under Peter Scott’s direction, those moments of bleak farce are elevated, making for a painfully funny evening. And this is thanks in no small part to the consistently good troupe of actors on show. Emma McNab and Hannah Lloyd have a humorous rivalry as the sisters, Ingrid and Audrey, which soon swells into a near-homicidal contempt for the other. Ben Tinniswood has a suitably aloof air as Dr. Tim Dunn, delivering his funniest lines with a dazzling command of timing. A lot of the raucous laughter though is down to Tom Hurley as Roland, comically frantic and poisonous in manner. Finally, Anthony Leader adds some theatrical class to the evening as Blavatsky, portraying him as a Prospero-like figure, highlighting both the menacing and the moving aspects of an old man aware that this is not his world anymore.

A lot of fun is had in this production – a lot of water spilt, a lot of bellies tickled, even a yoghurt pot flew into the audience at one point. But beneath the laughter, there sits a truly dark message about human nature in an enclosed space. Take a trip up to Blavatsky’s Tower if this sounds like your sort of thing. Oh, and by the way, take the stairs.

 

‘Blavatsky’s  Tower’ is at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff until 11th April.

REVIEW: Howard Barker’s The Dying of Today The Other Room, Cardiff by Sam Pryce

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This second course in Kate Wasserberg’s ‘Life in Close Up’ season at Porter’s was a little hard to swallow, especially after the resounding success of the previous production: Sarah Kane’s unforgettable play, Blasted. Kane is a hard act to follow. We all know that. But Howard Barker offers enough explosive action and quasi-philosophical drama to keep us intellectually stimulated in this seventy-minute two-hander, The Dying of Today.

Based rather obscurely on an apparently hot-blooded moment in ancient history – Thucydides’s account of the destruction of the Sicilian expedition in 413BC (don’t ask me) – Barker propounds his ‘theatre of catastrophe’ theory by showing an outbreak of crippling grief within the innocuous surroundings of a barbershop. Dneister, a sprightly customer, notifies the barber, after a flurry of ostentatious yammering, of some bad news: the barber’s son has died. What follows is the gripping breakdown and eventual transformation of the barber’s spirit. Alongside that, some thought-provoking conclusions are reached through the men’s incessant and progressively violent interaction about the nature of belief, war and death.

The problem, in my opinion, is the writing. Barker is quoted in the programme as having said that he ‘[doesn’t] think about the audience at all’ when writing. Then who is he writing for? Clearly himself. His convoluted style of dramaturgy comprises complex, meandering sentences that attempt to clarify such themes as war and belief. This, to me, leaves no room for characterisation and renders both these characters as the exact same person. The result is self-indulgent. If we take Sarah Kane’s writing (which, for me, is far superior to Barker’s), we can see how she can create fully-formed scenes and characters while still tackling big themes but distilling down to the simplest, clearest image or essence, making truly engaging drama. She can make a catastrophe clear of clouds. You may call me a philistine for badgering Barker but I think his style was unnecessarily decadent, placing style high over substance.

Saying that, a pair of riveting performances are still on offer, brought to fruition by Kate Wasserberg’s always brilliant, scrupulous direction. Leander Deeny, as the visitor burdened with bad news, blabbers to the barber with striking volatility, injecting some valued humour into tense moments. Christian Patterson excels once again as an initially reserved character before exploding into a range of fluctuating emotions. His acting is truly a pleasure to watch. I’d happily go along to any play with Patterson in the cast. The final sequence, however, of the barber reflecting on what has happened to the tune of ‘People They Ain’t No Good’ reeks of the toe-curling sentimentality of an X Factor sob story. It simply does not correlate with the play’s deeply serious and unsentimental subject matter.

Wasserberg’s second offering in this season then may not be as strong as Blasted, but there still is enough enrapturing action to keep anyone engaged.

‘The Dying of Today’ is at The Other Room in Porter’s, Cardiff until 11th April 2015

Photography by Pallasca Photography

Review The Nether, Duke of York by Hannah Goslin

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Critically acclaimed, The Nether was a show I was very eager to watch. I did not immediately decide to find the story line out, as I feel this somewhat limits the surprise at times. However, seeing advertising media about this production, it was safe to assume that it was a futuristic or technological based world from the sci-fi aesthetic.

The story is about a progression that could be argued as possible in our own future, where the internet or ‘The Nether’ is predominant. Virtual reality is very much a common realistic event. Here we see a detective, investigating the known ‘Papa’ who has created a world unlike before; with the ability to trigger the senses and make it all seem very real. The gruesome part of this is that this world lets users undertake paedophilic fantasies and yet, still be able to feel the act itself.

The set was phenomenal – a large screen took the background where video images, sound recording and so on was mixed in a collage. This rose after a computer graphic-ed outline of the virtual reality world was formed and then appeared on stage in a higher imbedded area. Papa had made this world-old fashioned – Victorian styled yet there was always a sense of this being a different world and technology fuelled.

The narrative itself is a hard one to sit through. Yet, the theatricality of it is fantastic, giving a sense of fear and uneasiness with its’ content and how likely this future could be. The actors are all brilliant. Their skills and dominance of the stage is overwhelming and also admiring to their ability to take on such a story. There was the ability to be emotional and to hit us with this, but also naturalism; the characters could have been as real as the person walking by you in the street, which, for a production about virtual reality and a future world, it would seem strange to be so natural in.

Overall, I enjoyed this taboo busting production. In the middle of a section of theatre land where you would expect to see mostly musicals and popular plays, something that really contrasts to this is a breath of fresh air. You come away in awe but also with a sense that you should not have enjoyed it due to the content, but you cannot help but admire the guts to put on such a hard hitting production. And surely, this is an area of theatre that should be more prominent in the West End.

Review The Dying of Today The Other Room by Kaitlin Wray

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The Other Room opens its second production in its ‘Life in Close Up’ season at  Porters pub Cardiff. After the success of ‘Blasted’ by Sarah Kane a few weeks earlier, ‘The Dying of Today’ by Howard Barker was a perfect follow up for this season of plays.

Set in a 1960’s Barbers shop with only two actors. It was a great reenactment of Howard Barker’s work showcasing his creativity and his poet-like writing. The music, playing at the beginning, contextualised this scene and brought us straight into the barbers room while he was cutting the travellers hair. It’s exciting when you see a play that can change your mind and educate you into a whole new wavelength of conversations and the beauty at hearing ‘bad news’ can have. The traveller in this play is excited at the prospect of giving bad news, his excuse, “I think men are more beautiful flung down than standing up”. This line of thought caught my attention completely and made this play conform to the ‘Life in Close Up’ season theme.

Directed by Kate Wasserberg, she knew just how to present Barker’s work for the Other Room’s Theatre stage. The originality in some of the directing choices was inspiring. The symbolism of a small pawn chess piece representing the barbers son drew the audience into the story even more. Every time the Barber picked up the chess piece we knew instantly what he was thinking and found ourselves believing that one small chess piece was his son at war. Moreover Kate expanded the relationship between two strangers into something beautiful. When the Barber puts on his shoes for the lonely traveller towards the end of the show it was heartbreaking. Personally it felt like the Barber was adopting the traveller like his son. In the space of their hours conversation, meeting for the first time, those two characters shared something so big that they would forever have a connection, (good or bad) and thats due to the bringing of bad news.

Leander Deeny, showcases the traveller that is visibly excited at the prospect of giving bad news. Leander was engaging from the beginning and with his elevated mannerisms he created a strong character. For the first five minutes he solely takes the stage speaking of bad news while the Barber just listens. There wasn’t one moment when I felt my mind wander when he spoke, he completely had the audience in the palm of the hand. Christian Patterson, playing the Barber, takes The Other Room’s stage a second time after his success of playing the grotesque and corrupt character of Ian in Sarah Kane’s ‘Blasted’. Christian’s mannerisms at the start of ‘The Dying of Today’ were subtly engaging. As he was hearing the news from the traveller his facial expression grew more and more troubled until after not speaking for the first 5 minutes he speaks. Christians emotions goes through a whole roller coaster engaging us into his mind and his feelings. Christian was a perfect match for this character and not only did the character show how versatile he was as an actor, Christian gave the character of the Barber a thrilling stance.

Overall ‘The Dying of Today’ was a show that shouldn’t be missed, as an audience it felt like we were right there in the barber’s shop, eavesdropping on something bittersweet. The presence the actors had on stage should be admired for aspiring actors and if you want to see how two people can effortlessly own the whole stage then you need to watch this.

I’m thrilled and excited to see the final show ‘A Good Clean Heart’ in the Other Room Theatre of ‘Life in Close Up’.

Review: Review Howard Barker’s The Dying of Today at The Other Room, Eifion Ap Cadno

Review: Howard Barker’s The Dying of Today at The Other Room, Eifion Ap Cadno

As the auditorium lights go down, tongue sits in cheek and I wrack my brains trying to work out the song playing…

It’s “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos. It complements the set beautifully. I have always been terrible at placing decades and fashions, so I’ll play is safe and call it retro. Fashionably old.

A glass Coca-Cola bottle wouldn’t look out-of-place.

The Dying Of Today - Christian Patterson and Leander Deeny   (credit Pallasca Photography)

This is The Other Room’s second production, following their inaugural Blasted. The set is structurally the same. Where the ill-fortuned painting was, there now exists the similarly fated window of our barbershop where The Dying of Today unfolds.

There are further parallels. As in Blasted, we the audience are privy to a private narrative while the world outside begins to fall apart, soon to spill into the room.

Now, the catastrophe is the collapse of the Athenian empire. After a short-lived period of peace with the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta, the great naval power threw everything at Syracuse in Sicily. Defeat followed defeat which followed defeat, and few returned to tell the tale.

Supposedly a foreigner, while being shaved, spilt the disastrous beans to the barber. This play is that rumour. The British playwright Howard Barker, while revered abroad, remains largely unheard of in the UK, despite having a biblically proportioned oeuvre.

I thank The Other Room for my first foray behind Barker lines. The set design really is quite brilliant. The shop’s mirror is hung on the fourth wall; The Barber and Dneister often stare out at fixed points in the audience who are effectively on the dark side of a one-way mirror. The black and white chequered floor is a perfect enlargement of the chessboard sat in the corner: one which the two characters play their sometimes methodical, occasionally vociferous war of attrition upon. A small detail, I love the two certificates hung on the wall: the medical, surgical connotations are apt.

Both actors give strong, engaging performances. Christian Patterson, who played the unappealing Ian in the aforementioned Blasted, now dons the white barber’s apron. There remains a dangerous streak of caprice. He is powerful, both vocally and physically. He is also very big. Leander Deeny contrasts this perhaps, but is no less a presence. Sprightly and playful, he is incredibly endearing even while revealing doom and gloom. His vulnerability excites. Interesting fact: Deeny was beefy Chris Evans’ skinny body double in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The Dying Of Today - Leander Deeny (credit Pallasca   Photography)

Their real performances however, shine through in their relationship with each other. On reflection it is difficult to extricate the two individuals from what is a very well performed two-hander.

Director Kate Wasserberg has really tightened the grip on Barker’s words. I have yet to look up half the ones I scrawled down on my programme in confusion. Fortunately this vocab-fest in her capable hands is not as daunting as it could be. The comic timing is delectable.

I am still unsure about the play. Initially I felt it was simply a cynical exploration of human nature. I realise it is not so simple. Again, like Blasted, it is draped in despair, making it difficult to see the good. It becomes apparent who the real victim is, good does prevail; and I like that. I agree with Natasha Tripney who, writing for The Stage, commented “the play as a whole lacks emotional weight and feels distant, surface-skimming”. I struggled to connect with either character; I didn’t pity The Barber’s personal loss as he so readily contextualises it. Disaster makes a philosopher of him. Perhaps, like Brecht’s Epic Theatre, we are encouraged to think about the state of things. I’m just not sure what that is.

You can read Dominic Cavendish’s review of its initial production at The Arcola here www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/drama/3562856/The-Dying-of-Today-at-the-Arcola-review.html

On until April 11th, I am excited by this second, successful production at The Other Room. It is close, intimate theatre: where the sounds of the bar to the left and the bins on the right remind you of the city.

Don’t miss out- tickets are available from their website www.otherroomtheatre.com

Review by Eifion Ap Cadno

Photography by Pallasca Photography

Review The Dying of Today The Other Room By Rebecca Hobbs

Much like an enthralling cinema experience when you consequently fail to reach the bottom of your popcorn, when a production at The Other Room comes to a close and you still have half a pint left, it is a sure sign that the performance has won you over. Set in a barber’s shop in just one act with two actors, the second production in the ‘Life in Close Up’ season is every bit as challenging as Sarah Kane’s brutal ‘Blasted’.

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Leander Deeny and Christian Patterson

Credit: Pallasca photography

Specifically inspired by Thucydides’s account of the destruction of the Sicilian expedition during the Peloponnesian War when the navy and the Athenian army suffers a merciless and colossal defeat, Howard Barker’s The Dying of Today is an unfettered examination of that anxiety induced moment of inevitability, considering the worst case scenario and discovering how we are meant to process the phenomenon that is ‘bad news’.

Director Kate Wasserberg’s attention to detail is meticulous; the elegant transactions between the two characters allow both the bearer and hearer to feed off one another’s energy. Once again, she shatters the fourth wall and this time the audience becomes the mirror. We are the onlookers of this intimate moment, fittingly captivated in anticipation of the bad news ourselves and whilst this relates to an historical event, the scenario is timeless. Is it not reminiscent of how we respond to the sensationalist media of today? Even as a child I remember the moment that the 9/11 news hit and I can picture what I was doing and how the news was delivered of the London Bombings by the school librarian in an English lesson.

Dressed for a holiday with a touch of Hollywood glamour, the lonely traveller Leander Deeny as the  bearer of bad news is quirky and charismatic. In his opening speech he wittingly and superficially luxuriates in the imminent moment of revealing the earth-shattering broadcast. The pleasure that the bearer gets as he revels in his artistry or in this case, the barber’s emotionally charged telling is both comical and curiously unsettling. As the revelation is played out, Christian Patterson demonstrates his versatility as an actor. Far from the grossly abhorrent character in Blasted, the barber’s experimentation with grief and revelation is incredibly intuitive and calls out for sympathy. The outbursts of overwhelming sorrow and emotionally charged rage were chilling yet the barber maintains dignity and has a tenderness that even manages to reach the most misunderstood bearer as fleeting moments of compassion break through his cold exterior.

In the final five minutes as the resigned barber returns his dismantled shop to the picture of normality, the artistry is at its best. The amalgamation of music and the symbolic play on the chess board set is profoundly moving and perfectly sums up Barker’s tragic poetry.

Review Man To Man Weston Studio, WMC by Barbara Michaels

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MAN TO MAN Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

Book by Manfred Karge

Translated and adapted for the stage by Alexandra Wood

Co-directors Bruce Guthrie and Scott Graham

Reviewer: Barbara Michaels

Rating: [4.00]

Writer Manfred Karge has brought a new perspective to the horrors of life in Nazi Germany for those hunted down by the regime, with many forced to take extreme measures in order to survive.  This is the story of Ella Gericke, a young woman who takes on her dead husband’s job as a crane driver, together with his identity, in order to live. We witness her terror and the lengths she must go to in order not to be found out. Incredibly, she manages to maintain the deception for over forty years.  At the core of the piece as the reason for Ella’s decision – Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, brought to the fore when Ella is forced to eat pork (forbidden by Jewish dietary laws) in order to avoid discovery.

This is a brand-new adaptation and production of an extraordinary one-woman play that premiered back in the 1980s when it won considerable acclaim.   Offering as it does a searching and searing overview of Germany under the Third Reich, this rare cross-genre piece is not to be missed not only for this reason but for its exploration of identity through episodic scenes in Ella’s life.

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Ella, played by Margaret Ann Bain, struggles to keep afloat in a bewildering male world of beer cellars and crude masculine humour, at the same time leading a false existence with the fear of discovery looming over her.   Bain manages to pull off a balancing act, maintaining credibility as a man while retaining an underlying hint of a feminine sexuality at the core of Ella’s being and making the audience aware at all times of the loneliness of a life devoid of close contact with another human being – a life dependant on its memories.  No mean feat, this, and coupled with her acrobatic skills – the physicality of the role requires some difficult and hair-raising moves – lifts Bain’s performance beyond the norm, placing her next in line to Tilda Swinton, who received rave reviews for playing the role when the play was premiered at the Segauspeilhaus Bocehum under its original title of Jacke wie Hose.  A small caveat, and one that is easily rectified, is that Bain could slow down a tad in the opening sequences in which a strong accent makes for a lack of clarity at times.  Nevertheless, an outstanding performance by a young up and coming performer and one well worth seeing.

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Sparsely furnished it may be, but the set by Richard Kent makes a major contribution in its depiction of scenes such as the fall of the Berlin Wall – great input by video designer Andrzej Goulding -and, poignantly, the mirror image of Ella as a girl, as does Rick Fisher’s clever lighting.

Co-directors Bruce Guthrie and Scott Graham are to be congratulated on bringing to the stage an extraordinary piece whose daring combination of prose and poetry, realism and imagination is in itself a considerable achievement.

Runs until March 27th

Photographic Credit Polly Thomas