Theatre Trips - Our Opinions

DV8's JOHN (Live Screening) (09/12/2014)

DV8's JOHN. You know what we are about to say... It was incredibly thoughtful & beautiful, the physicality was refined yet free. It was a show of hard work that captured the audience in every second. The set, intricate & clever. We loved the coat hangers. The performers, talented & focused. Stillness which echoed & then constant movement alongside verbatim text. Fantastic! Passionate, intense & funny, we journey with JOHN as he recalls his life & memories. The good, bad, the hilarious & the ugly.

RSC's 'The Christmas Truce' (19/12/2014)

Stratford On Avon, RSC, the understudy performance of 'The Christmas Truce'.
We loved the use of beautiful lighting in the play: as they built the train from blocks & ladders, the lights dimmed & a lantern was used as the front of the train. As the conversations grew my eyes were drawn to the shadows of the men going off to war. The picture created from their uniform and the different levels they were at was heartbreaking yet proud. Then later on in the play as they were advancing into no man's land, the use of gobos & fog made the performance space look dark, depressed & desolate. Full of danger & death.They had a wonderful repetition of a cricket motif as soldiers died & their training for war was fantastically in time & comical, the RSC's 'The Christmas Truce' had plenty of laughs.

100* BERLIN Theatre festival (26.02.2015)

Laura was lucky enough to visit Berlin & for only 16 Euros Laura saw three shows,
The Three Penny Theatre with 'The Emigrants', a Serbian, Hungarian, English and German piece about living in Berlin with two actors. Their use of masks, creative. It was laid back, funny and yet still discussed the issue of immigration, living somewhere else and acceptance. They even included audience control for the end. The audience were offered a beverage if they could give the actors an ending, happy or not! A 45 minute piece which could have been extended!
Kevin allien in der Endlichkeit, a German piece with one solo actor about... Well I'm not entirely sure what it was about but I was captivated! It was set in a childs playroom, and what I perceived... it was an adult reflecting on his childhood as if he was an adult. He kept receiving christmas gifts at the doors and popular christmas songs were played. There were some beautifully timed pauses, there was hilarious slapstick movement involved too. 45 minutes thoroughly enjoyed.
The final piece I saw was from London! Soho Theatre with 'I heart Catherine Pistachio' where two performers present the life of Catherine Pistachio in 'dangerously dark comedy'. It was physically beautiful, with controlled explosions of body movements and a vast selection of characters, from her parents to her dog and anecdotes ranging from the sweet to the upsetting.

The Absemce of War 21.03.2015

Laura went to see this at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham, excited to see a David Hare play performed by Headlong (the same company to bring the fantastic 1984 recently) 'The Absence of War' is a play of political humour, surrounding the audience with the stress, the power & the media: 'George Jones has three weeks to convince the Great British Public that's he's their man...' Their use of technology was eye catching & gripping, using screens, projections & live streaming to smother the audience in the media that shadows politics.

CHESS 10.07.2015

As a semi-professional theatre company we fully support & encourage amateur theatre. This was one of Promenade Productions' best musical. Performed at the Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham, CHESS provided the audience with laughter, passion filled songs & some incredible accents: the Russian Molokov (Peter Hughes) & American opposition, Walter de Courcy (played by Brick Door Theatre's Ben Perkins!) really brought the musical alive. We the use of digital projection, the videos broke up the musical making it modern & imaginative. (BDTC are always smiling when digital media is used....!) We look forward to their next show!

TASTE 20.10.2015

Cscape's 'TASTE' inspired by paintings & the media on social class. Exploring the stereotypical, the views of a modern society & the way we drink our tea. Cscape explored our choices, our identity with physicality & humour. It was beautifully choreographed with contemporary dance, repetitive motifs & emotional filled pedestrian movements. The set allowed for a fantastic scene during the 'middle class' exploration, delivery boxes being delivered in an increasing number over time, exploring happiness from materialistism. TASTE is full of humour, the audience were very much amused & with an audience of mixed ages (up to 80) this makes this performacnce excitingly relatable to all.

The Birthday Party 19.02.2016

(The Everyman Theatre, London Classic Theatre )As a keen Pinter enthusiast, this performance was enjoyable but lacked tension, lacked the build up and lacked the explosions which always made this play an exciting read/see. Whilst Petey and Meg retained the classic comedy much needed, Goldberg and McCann could have been a little more menacing and mysterious. Stanley's breakdown could have crashed to the ground in shock more. Lulu was a delight as always however she lacked depth, seeming more stupid than naive, where was her bubbly fun, it wasn't in the theatre. There was a darker undertone with the set lighting up skulls under the floor boards, but the tension on stage wasn't as dark as the skulls uggested. It was enjoyable to watch, perhaps my expectations were too high or perhaps I reverted back to my student head. Either way, the plays of Harold Pinter should be seen, experienced and enjoyed, and this was.

How to Reappear (Foulisfair Theatre) 27.02.2016

An experimental autobiographical thought provoking performance. A journey not to be missed.
Excellent characterisations & accents, with relatable characters & a sense of encouragement from the workshop host, an intriguing set with an eagerness to see what was inside all the suitcases. A suprising selection of props, but through all the glitter & fog you leave with clarity.
The audience, a good size & with slight hesitation, did immerse themselves into the performance.
Often I would lose myself in the fog, I found myself fully immersed in the fog of love, bouncing across countries through the years, dissolving myself into the comical anecdotes. We can all relate to holidays like that.
As suitcases opened we view the secrective contents, tiny landscapes and memories draw you in.
'How to Reappear' drives you to question who you are, who you can be, where you are, your barriers & what could be ahead.What shapes you, what is important? Life, even with thick fog, can still be enjoyed & the journey goes forward, so embrace it.

Bernard & Beatrice's Guide to Modern Art (Spaniel in the Works) 30.06.2016

As part of Gloucester's Theatre Thursdays by John Bassett (Spaniel in ther Works/Stroud Theatre Festival) this show is a SUPERB, hilarious & informative piece! If, like us, you've forgotten the different types of art there are & often quesiton: "WHAT IS ART?" then this show is for you. You may go a bit DADA, learn a thing or two & hopefully you won't lose an ear. (warning potential paint hazard, be prepared for anything silly)

Green Tea & Zen Baka (David WW Johnstone) 17.08.2016 10.15am -EdFringe

Quiet time, focus, peaceful. A beautiful setting and a token of appreciation in the form of a peble. Green tea shared, sipped and that subtle sound of a concentrating breath from audience and the solo performer. The patience and absolute focus the performer gave whilst drinking his tea fascinated: slow, controlled and mesmerising. Total silence and appreciation of the now, the surrounding nature and the atmospheric energy.

Mimes in Time (Dreamgun) 17.08.2016 12pm -EdFringe

A duo perform a fast paced, comical, physical and well scripted performance of infinte timelines. Jumping back and fourth as mimes in time, search for the correct world to fix it all. Suprisingly fun to follow with no confusion needed. The search for the perfect timeline? Look closer.

Ken Do's Success for Losers (oftheJackel) 17.08.2016 3pm -EdFringe

Ken Do! A solo and physical comedian: a perfectionist clowner, if it's not right he will try it again... and again!With audience interaction learning how not to be losers, we defeat monsters, feel the suns warmth (literall) and chant with the wind; "You're special...". "You're amazing..." beacuse you are! Contains: balloons and a ukele. A great laugh, a fun see.

Wasteland (Frazer Millward) 17.08.2016 5.45pm -EdFringe

A solo show, digital projection of clever story telling. Audience participation of prize giving and script auditions which all tie together at some point, always a nice touch. A coach stolen, checkouts left with queues (shock!) and you decide if the script goes ahead. Audience roaring in this intimate sweat box (it was very hot!).

The Story of the Nervous Man (Honky Bonk) 18.08.2016 2pm -EdFringe

A beautiful interactive solo clowning performance, silent.. ahhh.. movement based incorpoating the audience into the soundscape and movement. Urged to ring bells, tap hands on legs for the sounds of trains and 'shhhhh' the morning shower. Unravelling the story with repetition, so the soundscapes become slick, the audience grows in confidence and the laughter grows louder. Encouragement to the performer to meet & talk to the girl of his dreams, ending with a montage of heroic action packed feelings of success, and maybe a wedding sealed with a kiss?

Artificial Ineloguence (Dan Simpson) 18.08.2016 6.20pm -EdFringe

Artistic Intelligence more like, a well strctured, surprising performance with new material everynight thanks to the bot! Join Dan Simpson on a journey of life to death, growing up in this modern world through spoken word and poetry. Interactive moments and despite the name, a true eloquent performance reflecting on modern day slang and the use of emoticons. Can you tell a story with emoticons? Well Dan can! Here is what we thought...

How Eva Von Schnippisch single handedly won WW2 18.08.2016 9.30pm -EdFringe

The Dumb Waiter (Drop of a Hat) 09.09.2016 Stroud Theatre Festival