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Review The Memo Big Loop Theatre Company by Kaitlin Wray

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(4 / 5)

If the aim of ‘The Memo’ performed by Big Loop Theatre Company was to do a great performance then they certainly nailed it.

The memo is an adaption of ‘The Memorandum’ written by Czechoslovakian writer Vaclav Havel. Even though the play was written in 1965 it is still captivating for a 21st century audience. Produced by Rachel Pedley-Miller and Directed by George Soave they definitely chose a great group of actors to perform Havel’s classic.

Even though it took a while to get a grasp of the story, once I was in it, I was fully immersed. James Sarson, playing the protagonist, Mr.Gross, kept us engaged throughout, even though he was meant to be top of the food chain in the company it was evident that he had no real authority. His antagonist, Ballas, was the complete opposite. Ballas, played by Tobias Weatherburn, portrayed the arrogance and power he has over Mr.Gross within the character. Tobias’ skill at improvisation when something in the scene didn’t quite go to plan added to the skill he has as an actor. Another element that added to the hilarity of the scene was that James exceeded Tobias in height.

The only other actor who had a single character to play was Rhys Denton who played George the ‘staff watcher’. From the beginning, Rhys was sat in the audience and when he spoke for the first time it was quite a shock. His voice was perfect for the roll and even though his character was minimal he still got many laughs from the audience. The other actors were all double casted and the difference between each character was incredible. Aaron Price playing Mr.Pillar was Ballas’ left hand man, or more like his lapdog. Following orders and saying nothing pretty much sums up ‘Mr.P’. The other character he played, Mr.Stroll, was completely unrecognisable from Mr.Pillar. His whole character had transformed from a shy, obedient follower to someone who owned the stage. This was the same with Elinor O’Leary’s characters, Hana and Maria. While Hana was uninterested, sarcastic and a lover of food, Maria was a caring and helpful character that just wanted to do right by everyone. The audience interaction within Lear and Thumb’s scenes, played by Melanie Stevens and Ash Cummings, was intense yet fun. The audience members that weren’t used to the idea of actors invading their personal space definitely got a bit of a shock. Both characters bounced off each other and the contrast in personalities was amusing to watch. Melanie’s accent for both Leah and Maria were on point, both completely different yet humorous and brought her characters out even more. Ashley’s secondary character, Savant, was the lad of the group, laughing outlandishly and thinking he’s top dog. The contrast from that character to Thumb’s geeky over-excited nature was a delight to see. This was a performance that truly highlighted everyones diversity and their skills as an actor.

The directorial choices in this performance was highly applaudable, the transitions between each scenes, the character choices and the relationships between the characters was subtly hilarious. The sexual tension between Mr.Gross and Ballas in certain parts was just the right amount creating another edge to the story line. Furthermore it was also all the little moments when the timing would be perfect or there would be funny quirks For example when Mr.Pillar would end up sitting on peoples laps.

The only thing that let this show down was the space. The performance was located in the basement of the Little Man Coffee Company in Cardiff. This room can get quite stuffy and is relatively small with uncomfortable seats. Therefore I believe it restricted how far the actors could take their performance and the overall enjoyment of the show. Nonetheless, I would still recommend the show to anyone and didn’t take too much away from the whole show.

Overall it was evident that there was a high amount of professionalism from the cast and crew which resulted in over a two hour show being highly thrilling throughout. Each actor knew their character inside out and it was inspiring to see. Looking forward to seeing what The Big Loop Theatre Company do next.

https://www.facebook.com/biglooptheatrecompany/

Review Wonderman, Gagglebabble by Gemma Treharne-Foose

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(5 / 5) Unmissable

A lucid, slightly seasick jazz-kissed dream

Have you ever had a dream and woken up not quite knowing if what you’ve just experienced was real? That hazy half-sleep mode when your sleep-induced mind hallucination feels like it could be real for a moment? Wonderman – an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s stories for adults perfectly captures the sheer silliness and absurdity of your dreams and the haunted ‘recollections’ of a shell-shocked airman during the Second World War.

Brought to us by Gagglebabble, National Theatre Wales and the Wales Millennium Centre, the show took place in Tramshed’s wonderful pub-theatre venue. Lit by fairy lights outside and with a dim candle-lit, stripped-down vibe inside the performance space, this was a fitting and cosy venue for the performance. Mingling with other audience members and taking in our pints felt informal and exciting – there was already the imposing presence of a 6-piece band, who were gathering in the bar getting ready to take us on an epic journey in to the mind of the troubled airman.

The band line up really is superb and Gagglebabble’s Lucy Rivers (who created the music, played multiple parts and devised the show with Hannah McPake and Daf James) has a magnetic stage presence, as does Hannah McPake. McPake plays an absolutely cracking rendition of a Brighton landlady who perfectly toes the line between Mumsy and psychotic taxidermist waiting to pounce.  Adam Redmore’s depiction of a traumatised, paranoid airman in the midst of a hallucinogenic dream is wonderful and raw.

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The music and lyrics move the sequences along beautifully, the overall pace and energy is good and there are plenty of hearty chuckles and clever lines throughout.  Director Amy Leach manages to inject joy and colour in to a storyline that has the potential to be so dark and in such an engaging way – it is frantic, but it is clever and warm. I loved the way the storylines and dream sequences joined up at the end.

Dahl’s works in general exude a childlike charm  – and there are echoes of his characterisation present in his most famous children’s stories in this production – menacing enough to give you the chills, but without too much bitterness or poison.

Chatting with audience members before and after the show, Dahl leaves his mark on people in different ways.

We’re reminded of Dahl when we think of the sheer terror invoked by the TV adaptation of ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ (especially THAT clown under the bed) and of the way that even the most horrid and dodgy characters still have you rooting for them.

We get a weird perverse thrill when Mrs Trunchbull is on the scene and similarly, you’re fascinated by the somewhat pervy Uncle Oswald. In this production, we can’t help but like and want to believe the tender wife who clobbers her husband, the kooky landlady and the funny Jamaican guy who wants a souvenir of the airman’s finger.  At one point, the audience even cheers for the airman’s finger to be chopped off. There is a lot of chopping threat in this production…and you will never look at a leg of lamb without smiling again!

It is mad-cap, it is fantastic and the whole thing was a lucid, slightly sea-sick jazz-kissed dream. It’s quite fitting that the opening night for ‘Wonderman’ should fall on the centenary since the birth of one of Wales’ literary gems.

There’s an excited chatter, a feel-good buzz all over town as Cardiff prepares for a mammoth weekend of celebrating all things Dahl in the ‘City of the Unexpected’ events.

For me, this was completely unexpected – a surprise full of cheeky mischief, made by misfits…and if you too are looking for a chop-tittlingly toe-tapplingly lush-winkingly good time, you need to shake your tail and get over there to see this show (try the chips in the ‘Waiting Room’ bar/restaurant next door to the venue, too – lush!)

Type of show: Theatre

Title: Wonderman
Venue: Tramshed
Dates: 13 September – 18 September, PN 13th September

Devised by: Daf James, Hannah McPake and Lucy Rivers

Music by: Lucy Rivers
Design: Hayley Grindle
Technical: Joshua Carr (Lighting), Dan Lawrence (Sound), Lucy Cullingford (Chpreography & Movement), Bryony Tayler (Costume)
Cast / Musicians include: James Clark (Piano), PeteKomor (Double Bass), Hannah McPake (The Landlady), Mark O’Connor (Drums), Adam Redmore (The Airman), Lucy Rivers (The Wife), Joe Shire (The man from the South).

Running time: 1hr 45min

 

Review Macbeth WNO by Barbara Michaels

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All photographic credits Patrick Redmond

(4 / 5)

Reviled by many as one of Shakespeare’s more unpleasant plays, and referred to by thespians as ‘The Scottish Play’ because of its reputation for bringing bad luck to performances, Macbeth was described by Verdi himself as ‘One of mankind’s greatest creations.’ Oliver Mears’ gripping modern day production for Welsh National Opera, in conjunction with Northern Ireland Opera, holds its own, opening up a huge range of interpretations on account of its deep psychological reference.

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For those unfamiliar with the play on which it is based, Macbeth is a soldier whose wife’s aspirations of greatness are his downfall, leading to his ultimate death. Returning with his friend Banquo after a successful battle, he meets a coven of witches who predict that he will become firstly Thane of Cawdor and then King of Scotland, but that it will be Banquo’s children that subsequently inherit. On arriving home, Macbeth tells his wife who informs him that Duncan, the present King of Scotland, will be visiting and staying the night. Duncan duly arrives and announces that he is bestowing on Macbeth the title of Thane of Scotland. Not content with that honour, Lady M. sees this as the perfect opportunity to kill him and thus make the second part of the witches’ prophecy come true. She easily persuades Macbeth to murder his monarch while he is asleep, but the killing doesn’t stop there.

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A balletic opening with the witches grotesquely portrayed as shaven-headed mannequins, and grey-haired humpbacks gets the action started before Spanish baritone Luis Cansino appears in battledress as Macbeth. The appearance of Lady Macbeth in Scene 2 leads into the first murder, followed by the duet which Verdi himself described as being of major importance. The justly renowned chorus of the WNO are increased in number with extra singers in order to cope with different guises which include not only the witches’ coven, but ghostly apparitions, and others, including in the final act refugees from the havoc caused by Macbeth’s widespread killings of those he sees as threats to his rule.

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Sung by American soprano Mary Elizabeth Williams, this Lady M is a ballsy, modern woman, sexy even at her desk and displaying her thighs with calculated intent. This is a power-crazy female who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Williams has the demanding role to a T, fully in control from start to finish; not until the final act do we see the cracks in the surface which reveal the deep underlying psychological problems as lady Macbeth sleepwalks, rubbing her hands to rid them of the bloodstains no longer there and singing broken phrases opening up into great arches of song. Musically, Williams is superb, with a soaring soprano that takes the breath away, both in breath-taking solo arias and duets with Macbeth.

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Set and costume designer Annemarie Woods has created a minimalist Scottish castle and a wood that moves, plus costumes with swinging kilts. There are, however, two provisos – Duncan’s costume of bright blue jacket, knee-length white socks topped off with a gilt crown is a tad pantomimic, while the dark kilts and gilets worn by the chorus in the final act are reminiscent of school uniform.

Runs: September 15, 17 and 24th; October 12th; November 2, 9 and 23rd.

Macbeth Welsh National Opera at Wales Millennium Centre

Opera in four Acts based on the play by William Shakespeare

Music: Guiseppe Verdi

Libretto: Francesco Maria Piave

Director: Oliver Mears

Reviewer: Barbara Michaels

 

 

Review Finding Dory by Jonathan Evans

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(3 / 5)

Finding Nemo is one of the pinnacle of the powerhouse that is Pixar. It is often named as peoples favorite favorite Pixar movie and often on their list of favourite family movies. So now for some reason there is a sequel. There are unanswered question’s leftover from the first movie, I guess, but was this really another trip worth taking.

The movie takes place one year later after the end of the first movie yet it took over ten years for this move to come out. So it begs the question why? Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks as Dory and Marlin slip back into their roles with ease showing no sign of the decade between the time when they first performed these roles. Dory continues to be the optimistic one with short term memory loss so she always looks at things with fresh eyes, Marlin the more cautious and critical one, Hayden Rolence replaces Alexander Gould as Nemo because in ten years he no longer sounds like a little kid, but has the same sound and feel of the original. They are all living out their lives on the reef before it occurs to Dory that she must have a family, and that begins to allow memories to resurface. So she, Marlin and Nemo are now on a journey to track down her family.

The plot is mostly a repeat of the first movie, with an encounter with a scary creature, bizarre comedic relief that ultimately serve a purpose in aiding their search. What matters is that character development is not repeated and is still stands on its own. Many movies have the same structure what matters is the effort and little pieces of originality.

Dory meets the new, iconic supporting character that everyone will remember, Hank the Octopus (Ed O’Neil). He is traumatised of the open ocean, rather cynical towards Dory’s optimistic attitude but has to stay with her so he can get her tag which ensures he can stay in captivity. He is also an animation treat with seven (he lost one) legs all moving about without the restrictions of bones and has camouflage abilities which lead to (as you’d expect) many creative visuals and jokes.

It is obvious at this point that Pixar is one of the great animation studios, with heartfelt and brilliantly constructed stories, but also amazing animation capabilities too. This one is no exception, with all kinds of different textures going on at the same time, how under the surface of the water the image is more blurred but the color pallet more vibrant, as they swim it effects every grain of sand and whenever the fish come out of the water they are wet and can see the water trickle down their skin. And it captures that ethereal lighting and atmosphere that you get in an aquarium.

This is an unnecessary sequel, but it is also not the weakest sequel. This isn’t without clever moments and great effort being put into the animation. This takes us deeper into one of the great supporting characters in Pixar’s history, along the way we meet fun, memorable characters, are given moments of emotion that will stay with children until they’re old enough to fully understand them and instantly connect with adults.

Review, Not I and Scorch, Sherman Theatre by Lauren Ellis-Stretch

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(4 / 5)

An audience constrained and submerged. Betty Jane Walsh graces a Beckett classic and leaves her audience weightless, like a punch bag.

Admittedly I will confess that until this evening I had never watched or ever read a Samuel Beckett play, so I don’t know if it’s normal to find one’s self in a state of fervent suffocation. Although written in 1972 the date is irrelevant Patricia Logue proves that Not I is timeless, unfortunately.

Walsh relentlessly grasps at a language of ferocity and intention transfixing an audience, enticed by her mouth, for the entire piece. In thirteen minutes we’ve lived a life, however messy and misunderstood – a hurricane of passion slammed into your chest. Not I pierces and cries of that lost, but leaves only an awe for the resilience of a woman.

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Scorch

(5 / 5)

Scorch is electrifying. It alights, and it shocks and it launches you, and it takes no prisoners.

Kessy and Kez are two very different people. Self-confessing and selfless. Simple and complex. True and false. Female and Male. We’re all just chasing happiness. But, what happens when we play within the vortex of a technological stimulated world?

Emma Jordan stimulates a circle of trust and the truth. Congregated around a grey carpet on a black stool, infected by an optimism and energy, Amy McAllister consumed me, as well as entire audience. We smirked and laughed as we saw clarity within the murk of a societal taboo – ‘you’re nodding!’ McAllister rejoiced. Never have I wanted an actor to look me in the eyes more than Amy McAllister. She was fierce without anguish, and she was light without compromise. She is your friend.

Sharp, succinct and slashing in movement. Choreography by Nicola Curry frees and enthrals, but always beats with the raging undercurrent of sexual identity and gender fluidity confessed.

Stacey Gregg’s words run. They drive and they dig and they stick. In the fragmented speech of a teenage stirring, Kez is heard clearly, bound to his knowing of self – dialogue erupts and translates a tale of our generation. Gregg exposes a sheer insignificance of your life, yet grounds and cements you in your very being, all at the same time. If all writers were as generous as Gregg, and all writing was of such sincerity, and humanity, the world might become a better place.

This season at the Sherman has already proved to be epic – don’t miss any of it.

Review The Overtones, St David’s Hall by James Briggs

(5 / 5)

On Friday the 2nd September Cardiff was treated to a one off concert from the amazing vocal group ‘The Overtones’. Much anticipation built in St David’s Hall as we awaited ‘The Overtones’ appearing on stage but before that there were two very talented warm up acts. The first performer was a band called ‘WHO’S MOLLY?’ in the form of one band member Luke who performed many of their songs with a little help from the audience. The second warm up act was a real crowd-pleaser as it was X Factor’s Jay James. Famous for his appearance on the well-known talent show he delighted the audience with many songs new and old.

X Factor singer Jay James

X Factor singer Jay James.

After a short interval it was time for the main attraction and the arrival of ‘The Overtones’. To a rapturous applause the five members of the group walked on stage and took their places at the microphone stands. As the music began we could tell we were in for a real treat. Due to the nature of the concert opposed to them doing new songs from their current album they were performing a wide range of songs from their very first album to the latest. Some of the many songs performed were ‘Gambling Man’, ‘Sh-Boom’, ‘Reet Petite’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Why Do Fool’s Fall in Love.’

With such a wide range of music and styles being performed there really was something for everyone in the concert and I have to say the show soon turned into a party opposed to a show and you were hard pushed to find someone who was not standing and singing with them. The Overtones were utterly astonishing and I had previously only listened to them on their CD’s and so to hear them live was amazing. Their voices were so powerful and the music was just as spectacular. With some inclusion of Acapella songs it really meant the audience could hear just how could their voices are which was a real treat.

A real highlight of the evening was when ‘The Overtones’ came down off the stage and sang amongst the audience. Certain lucky female members of the audience were invited up to the stage to be serenaded by the boys.

All of the group members were dressed very smartly with tuxedo and black tie on with the main singer Timmy Matley wearing a velvet tuxedo. All of the group members were full of energy and their dancing was something to be admired with all five members keeping in sync and filling the stage.

The Overtones. From the left Mark, Darren, Timmy, Mike and Lachie. 

The final song performed by ‘The Overtones’ was ‘Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight’ which was a lovely way to end their magnificent show. However, it turned out that it was not their final song and like a gift that keeps on giving they performed a further two encore songs which were just as amazing. I am sure I speak for all of the audience at the show when I say we didn’t want the show to end. I urge everyone to see ‘The Overtones if you get the chance because they are utterly amazing and you are sure of an amazing night spent singing and partying with them.

To book tickets for ‘The Overtones’ nationwide Christmas tour starting in Blackpool on November 25th 2016. Be sure to check out the tickets available via this link- http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/The-Overtones

Review Wolfsong TJ Klune by Sian Thomas

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(5 / 5)

I recently read Wolfsong by TJ Klune. Even now, as I begin writing, I can only hope I have the best words to convey my astonishment and amazement at how spectacular this book truly was. I don’t even know where to begin.

Maybe I do. After a little thinking. I’ve read a handful of books that have touched my heart so deeply. I love reading because I love stories. Even if I find them not the most enjoyable, even if they had a lacklustre ending, even if I did enjoy them, but probably only once, the few books I’ve read that have whisked my heart away are something else entirely. They are always so full of emotion and immeasurable intensity. This book was that. This book was that, and more. So, so much more.

I’ve read a handful of books that touched my heart deeply, yes. But there’s only one other book I’ve read that I’ve had to resist reading all at once. Or resist reading it because there was unimaginable emotion flowing straight from the words straight into my mind and heart and soul. Even this book succeeded that. While I read both with enforced breaks (maybe for my own good, I fear my heart may have pounded out of my chest) when I wasn’t reading this one, it was just quietly (sometimes loudly) on my mind. I wondered where the next chapter could possibly take me, I wondered how it could possibly end, and I was more than happy – ecstatic – to get my answers.

Every time I let myself crack open this book and carry on, I felt like I was somewhere else entirely. Everything about it just felt so real, all the relationships and emotions and turmoil and actions, they all felt so real. And while I like fantasy-esque novels a whole lot (they seem to have the best stories for me), and this was one, and it was way out there because it was about werewolves (which I did realise by the title and the cover but for some reason it seemed to float away from me, though I caught it when there was talk of family nights and smells and a lot of talk about the moon. Oh boy, did it hit me then. I waited for the main character, Ox, to get hit with that twist with eager anticipation) it was new and enticing and everything inside just felt so predominant and so real.

I think it’s something I find in a lot of books that are shelved and never really reread – that they never felt quite real. Usually, they are all story. Which is nice, too, but in a different way, I think. But with this book, with Wolfsong, there was the story and then feelings were also the story. I loved that. I loved that so much it made my heart ache because I want to write and that’s what I wish I can someday have the ability to write. Something like this, where the feelings are such a gigantic part of everything – because, isn’t that how things are? In day to day life? You do things depending on how you feel, right? It’s why the kind of books that I don’t reread, that are all story, stay that way – they’re usually dutiful. Having to do something because it’s them, they are the main character, it’s their duty. They didn’t have a choice.

Wolfsong reiterates that you do. You have a choice. The main character, Ox, he has a choice. He picks what he does because of how he feels. I loved that so much. So much. This was a book that I was raring to read to know what happens next, who will do what next, what’s coming over the page, but this was also a book that I wanted to stop and slow down and cherish every second and just – revel in it.

And what makes it better – it had leagues of LGBT representation. Love, just anywhere. Everywhere. No fear, no worries. Ox openly stated he was bisexual. In other pieces of entertainment I’ve experienced with bisexual characters, they never seem to say it. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong pieces of entertainment, or maybe writers just don’t want to do it, but to finally see it done was so refreshing – it was like I hadn’t stepped outside for years and suddenly I was racing around the streets or the woods or just anywhere. Air, everywhere. Like I could breathe easy by just keeping on reading. Green relief, like it says in the story. I think it was that. Green relief in the fact that neither of the characters in the main LGBT relationship died, either! I was a little worried, I do admit. I know that with the life-or-death situations all throughout the book it could have happened, and I really did believe one of the two were going to be killed off, and that it would have fallen into the Bury Your Gays trope (where one person who is LGBT dies, usually needlessly, usually after finding a partner) and I have never felt astounding relief and been so glad when it didn’t happen. I was invested. In the story, in the main relationship, and I was afraid that it was going to happen. And then, it didn’t. It didn’t happen, and I felt such amazing relief and thankfulness. Again, like it was all a breath of fresh air.

The writing itself was extraordinary. It was dialogue and emotion and plot, and it seemed to be more, somehow. I suppose I could describe it as being written jaggedly? Either way, it fit perfectly. With the character, Ox, and the others. It fit with the story and how it unfolded. It fit with me, how it was jagged. I understood. I understand.

There were scenes that amazingly hilarious, too. Jokes, or just how they seemed to play out. Things that were funny because of who said or did what and the reaction. I loved it. While it seemed serious and like important things were always happening, there was always room reserved for humour.

There were so many characters. There were so many people to give your love to in the story, there were so many people to root for and fear for, to hope for and to just plain admire. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

I don’t want to give anything away, I really don’t. I went in wholeheartedly blind and I came out the other side in awe. I think that’s how it should be for anyone else.

I give it five stars. It is probably the best thing I’ve read all year.

“I am a member of Get the Chance because ….”

Get the Chance supports critics from a variety of ages and backgrounds. In the article below some of our members give a personal response as to why they are part of our team. 

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I am a member of Get the Chance because it gives me the opportunity to review exciting productions and to have my reviews read by a wide audience. Another plus is that as a mature writer it is great to meet up with young critics with a fresh approach and style.”

Barbara Michaels Third Act Critic

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“I am a member of Get The Chance because it gives me a platform where I can speak my mind . It allows me to give my opinion and being able to do so enables me to explore the media, the news and whatever preferred genre or medium of entertainment I want. When it was introduced to me I was into writing and that has helped shape what dreams and ideals I have while also keeping my writing skills at a solid, good level. I am fortunate to be a part of Get The Chance because it has given me opportunities that I would not have had otherwise.

Amina Elmi Young Critic

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GTC is a progressive and pro-active platform. It’s a community where culture critics can express themselves liberally and creatively. Time Credits remuneration is a real bonus. The opportunity to participate is wide open. Access is the magic word! If you are interested then you will Get The Chance here!

Leslie Herman Jones Third Act Critic

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I am a member of Get The Chance because I am a life-long lover of theatre as an art form and I am keen to see more people involved in and responding to live performance. Coming from Tonyrefail near the Rhondda, I have fond memories of Christmas pantomimes, school plays and as a Welsh school pupil, Eisteddfodau. But I was in my twenties before I started watching theatre independently. I am constantly learning about theatre and all of the components that go in to it. The scheme draws in people from all backgrounds and experience levels and gives them a platform to share their experiences of the live performance in a very real and authentic way. We respond as members of the community, as a young person or as older people, with no pre-existing affiliations or expectations. As a community critic, I feel it my job to look beyond the show’s hype and the ‘creative vision’ behind the script or the journey of the actor and act as a bridge between the sometimes intimidating or stereotypically elitist or stuffy world of theatre and people with no or very limited experience of the theatre. I write openly and honestly about what I see and I love every minute of my involvement with Get The Chance.

Gemma Treharne Foose Community Critic Wales

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I am a member of Get the Chance because it grants me access to a supportive network of like-minded individuals – people who are passionate about the arts; who contribute towards an open-dialogue about its creation and existence. It’s an inspiring organisation to be a part of.

Lauren Ellis Stretch Young Critic

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I am a member of Get the Chance because it has given me an unbelievable amount of opportunities and allowed me to meet amazing people. From allowing me to appear on a local radio station to securing a job at the Wales Millennium Centre.”

James Briggs Young Critic 

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“I am a member of get the chance because I feel like I should have an opinion when it comes to the arts and theatre as it is something that I have been passionate about from a very young age. I have been performing since I was little and have always loved being able to express myself through art. Through critiquing I can give my opinions on theatre and art from a passionate young persons perspective.”

Eve Limbrick Young Critic

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I am a member of get the chance because it allows me to meet new industry creatives like myself and to see a wide range of great shows and performances.

Kaitlin Wray Young Critic 

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I am a member of Get The Chance because I strive to be a writer and truly love writing from the bottom of my heart. Being a member has allowed me to explore my opinions on different pieces of entertainment and push my writing skills. Through publishing reviews my abilities have grown, and I am wholeheartedly grateful for having the opportunity for this to happen. Publishing reviews and receiving responses is thrilling and something I enjoy. Get The Change provides this and so much more, and I feel lucky to be included and involved.

Sian Thomas Young Critic

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I am a member of Get the Chance because I want to write, I want to write well enough to share my own experiences of art, theatre, dance & opera with others & widen their audiences, encourage attendance & sometimes, maybe, help us see things differently.

Being a Third Act Critic has opened doors for me – I see work I would never have seen otherwise; I get to draw dancers, talk to directors & actors, meet other critics & writers, I even enjoy the odd free drink!

I enjoy the interaction on Twitter & Facebook, relish any compliments & learn from criticisms.

I also enjoy telling other people what I do & try to get more people involved in this remarkable chance to see things & to review them.

Having just received my Spice Time Credits, I am also looking forward hugely to a few new experiences, armed with sketchbook & pen.

Helen Joy Third Act Critic

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I’m a member of Get the Chance because of the invaluable opportunities and skills it provides me.”

Shannon Newman Price Young Critic

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I am a member of Get the Chance because it is a close knit community that allows you to voice your opinions and meet new people along the way, as well as offering you with amazing opportunities.

Caitlin Finn Young Critic

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I am a member of Get the Chance because it opens up access to the arts and everyone’s voice is valued

Corinne Cox Young Critic

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I am a member of Get The Chance because I wanted to push myself. I knew I could do it, so I did!

Amelia Seren Young Critic

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I am a member of Get the Chance because theatre and the arts is what I eat, live and breath. To be able to connect with fellow performers, practitioners, critics and journalists is a wonderful chance to learn, be inspired and to network.

Hannah Goslin Young Critic

Get Involved

For further information or to take part contact project coordinator Guy O’Donnell: odonnell.guy@gmail.com

 

Review Star Trek Beyond by Jonathan Evans

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(3 / 5)

When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek is was with the concept that mankind had indeed reached a point beyond racism, sexism and it’s petty squabbles. The conflict was about to places and situations that they would meet out there in the big wide galaxy where no man has gone before.

With the new Star Trek continuity that was created with the rebooted movie back in 2011 it is indeed a chance to go where we haven’t before. We have the same characters but now they’ve been altered slightly which allows them to go in whole new different directions and development. So far they’ve been doing a fair job on that front.

We enter our plot about midway through the legendary five-year mission, Kirk (Chris Pine) is starting to become weary of the monotony of everything on The Enterprise and is even considering passing the Captain duties onto Spock (Zachary Quinto). However Spock has received bad news, his future self has passed, clearly referencing the real-world passing of Leonard Nimoy and has separated from Uhura (Zoe Saldana). Things are left unsaid before they meet a giant swarm of little ships that instantly engage in combat with The Enterprise, sending it crashing into the planet below.

With the Enterprise taken down the surviving crew members are now scattered on an alien planet and must survive. This leads to character iterations that are definitely the best parts of the movie. Smaller moments that make us feel for these characters, and show us them in ways that we haven’t seen them in for the fifty years of their existence.

Justin Lin takes over directing duties from J.J. Abrams being that he’s moved on to Star Wars. The major parts of Lin’s filmography are the Fast & Furious movies and it shows, he has a quick, slick passe to the way the scenes unfold which makes him a good choice to replace Abrams. He also clearly likes long twisting camera movements.

The movie is heavy on it’s action. Not to the point where it sacrifices plot or characterization but to be sure there are chunky moments of them. However these come with a little more brain work put in them than you’d normally be used to. The characters use what resources they have and gadgets, with limitations, at their disposal which adds a few unique visual flares to it and shows that the characters and filmmakers are smart.

Our main antagonist is a being named Krall. That at first glance appears to be a simple, blood-thirty alien that wants the federation destroyed. However things are revealed about him that make him something more. However, even though he is played by Idris Elba, a more than capable actor, this character never really works. Sure I understand his backstory and how he works, but you never really feel sympathetic towards him and I certainly didn’t ever understand his plan.

Star Trek is a franchise that comes with a lot to do justice to. It comes with long lasting, defined characters that must be done justice to and a sense of optimism and intelligence that the writers must bring to the table. This is indeed an action science fiction movie, but it has more brains going for it that an ordinary run-of-the-mill movie of that genre. And it has the characters that we all know and love still being pushed to new places and situations.

Review On the Brink Dirty Protest by Helen Joy

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(4 / 5)

5 plays held in the basement of a coffee bar in central Cardiff & I am reminded of how much my old town has changed as I wander streets now unfamiliar & ask a dozing homeless person how he is.

This has always been an area where the homeless gathered – public loos & the food-bins of the market & Marksies. One man told me 128 people sleep here sometimes. Change falls out of his hands as he falls asleep. I watch him for a while, concerned, as the night revellers wander by.

Another man, bare-chested & carrying his life on his back, sweeps into the bar as we enjoy our pre-theatre drinks. I am not sure what he says but the crowd is silenced momentarily & once he has gone, someone claims his actions & words as part of the production. I’m not sure I find that funny.

Merlot & speciality beers drunk, we trot downstairs into the basement of the bar & find ourselves in a bright white small room with school chairs & bunting. Very nice neat clever photos of Cardiff streets around us & a feeling of Bohemian comfort pervades.

A bouncy introduction & we’re off.

A rapid monologue performed with the jerky nervousness required of the part. Quick & Dirty, ‘shocking proper shocking, mind’ – it is excellent: a well-written bit of life which leaves us wondering, what are they planning with those nylons?

Then, a couple splitting up. Hard to be different but some good lines here, ‘I don’t like the sound of a world without you in it’ & as the pace picks up & their story unfolds, we feel for them in their, ‘small, lonely & broken’ states.

Ok, so 3 people are sitting together discussing something to do with a college award & it is sometimes satirical, sometimes topical, sometimes political: ‘I do not fuck pigs’ & for some reason, Charterhouse cops it repeatedly. It gets its laughs from an audience who gets it – but I don’t – until the last lines, ‘so, how do you think the interview went?’ ‘I’m going to fucking crucify you’. Difficult to act & a job well done.

So, we have Brian. He apparently takes 19 minutes to produce a stool. This is a seriously clever play. The narrator perambulates around Brian, his date & his life & his life’s end, engaging easily with us, the audience, the inactive voyeurs of a man’s death by fork. I would like to see this again; no, I would love to see this again.

Another play about a couple failing to see eye to eye. Pokemon & pregnancy. There is a really nice use of silence here, a really nice use of few words, gentle body language, excitement, knowledge & heartbreak. Nothing new perhaps but it was moving, it touched me.

Lastly, the builder with the pint glass & the mobile phone. ‘Ah fookin’ needed tha’ & he tells us his story with grace, humour & tremendous pathos. We expect one thing, we get another. I suspect that I am not alone in being upset by this work. It manages to touch on the many angles of life: the dangers in loving someone, the need to keep up appearances, the roles we are all expected to play & the risk of exposure, ‘I knew ah’d look like wha’ ah am’. Brilliant. Truly brilliant.

This is a theatre company well-worth following & perhaps, joining in…

I wander back to my car past the late-night Tesco shoppers & the party-goers, bump into folk I haven’t seen for 17 years & am glad to get home. I wonder how the homeless are faring this muggy night.

 Event:             On the Brink

                        Dirty Protest Theatre Company

Seen:              9pm, 18th August, 2016

Cast:
Non Haf
Hannah Thomas-Davies
Rhys Downing
Richard Elfyn

Directed by Dan Jones

Produced by Angela Harris, Matthew, Catherine and yourself.

The plays in order of appearance:

1) CHIP SHOP DINNER by Remy Beasley
With Non Haf playing Kayleigh-Jade.

2) THE SPLIT by Sian Owen
With Hannah Thomas-Davies playing Ruth & Rhys Downing playing Michael.

3) THE AT SYMBOL by Gary Raymond
With Rhys Downing as A, Non Haf as B & Hannah Thomas-Davies as C.

4) THE SUICIDE OF BRIAN by Justin Cliffe
With Richard Elfyn as Narrator, Rhys Downing as Brian, Hannah Thomas-Davies as Flora & Non Haf as Waitress.

5) WHAT NOW by Connor Allen
With Non Haf as Kate & Rhys Downing as Tommy.

6) ‘THE BOSS’ by Matthew David Scott
With Richard Elfyn as Tony.

Reviewer:      Helen Joy for 3rd Act Critics

Running:        17th August, 2016, at The Pen & Wig, Newport

18TH August, 2016, at Little Man Coffee Company

Cost :                       £6 / ticket in advance, £7 on the door

Links:              http://www.dirtyprotesttheatre.co.uk/comingup/