Great evening at Kingswood Theatre last night, reviews to follow in Bath Chronicle and Guide2Bath. Have a fantastic week everyone.
Any companies out there looking for a Brand New Double Award winning production for your society? NODA’s Best Musical and Oustanding Regional Acheivement @the decentrogues will be presenting at the Bicton Weekend – it is now available for general release – critically acclaimed, sell out shows and a run at The Bridewell London …. do something different this year. www.thedecentrogues.com writers Dan Lashbrook and Rob Pratt will be there to answer questions … get in touch if you want to be first! Please feel free to share this post across other companies you may be connected to.
His Dark Materials Part One by Nicholas Wright – Next Stage Youth, Mission Theatre.
Based on the epic trilogy from Philp Pullman, Next Stage Youth have taken on the challenge of presenting the stage adaptation of these infamous stories.
Under the expert guidance of Ann Garner the young troupe control and revel in the wilds of Lyra’s world. It is a fantasy world where all humans have daemons (a creature companion), who is their soul mate; if the link is severed both suffer terribly.
Lyra and Will are the central protagonists, (Will’s story is dealt with further in Part 2) Lyra is an extraordinary girl in many ways, as a result of her unknown prophecy she is pursued by witches and humans alike but her intelligence, resilience and courage allow her to evade the dangers and continue on her journey.
The assembled cast handle the weighty dialogue well and once through the early “setting up” scenes relax into an energetic, vibrant and captivating journey. This is a great team effort, led from the front by a wonderfully engaging Lyra (Jenny McGlynn) displaying a maturity of acting skill far beyond her years who, alongside a perfectly roguish Roger (Miles Aiken), make a convincing couple. Lord Asriel (Philip Davies) who also appears as Iofur Rakinson is impressively controlled; as is a very well defined, Mrs. Coulter (Verity Ferris) reflecting the changes in her strong characterisation clearly as the story progresses.
The costumes are outstanding; the bear heads particularly effective, allowing Iorek Byrnison (Yugo Jacques) to work very well with such an expressive mask, his physical stature adding to the overall vision. The original score by Bath musician Matt Finch complements the style and dynamics of the piece very well, giving the scenes an added lift.
This is a production that shows the extraordinary depth of talent in youth theatre in Bath, Part 2 has an entirely different cast and runs next week – there is no need for the future of the adult groups in the city to doubted, except that maybe some of these youngsters will find themselves treading the boards professionally and rightly so.
Performances of Part 1 run until Saturday. Part 2 runs 10 -14 July Mission Theatre.
Box Office: 01225 428600 www.next-stage.co.uk
Online: Bath Box Office: www.bathboxoffice.org.uk 01225 463362
Bath Light Operatic Group are taking a break away from the norm this summer and bringing the wonderful Sondheim show Company to The Wroughton Theatre, 18 – 21 July.
Whilst a major swathe of the popular group is in rehearsals for Sound of Music at Theatre Royal Bath this autumn; Tristan Carter has taken on the mantle of Director to produce this classic musical.
Full of the usual Sondheim brilliance, the study of relationships, love and company is put under a microscope during Robert’s 36th birthday party.
In a show full of comedy Robert has to consider whether it’s best to be single, married or even divorced but living together as his crazy, wedded friends play out every possible example of co habitation.
Sondheim as ever is razor sharp in his observations and touchingly sincere all in one number, making him the master of the modern musical.
Director Tristan Carter said “It is important for BLOGs to diversify and take on the challenging small scale musicals when the opportunity arises. It is a company bursting with talent and having the opportunity to work with a few of the group in an intensive rehearsal period is proving to be hugely rewarding. It was great that we attracted some new group members to the production, there is a wealth of experience so the result will be absolutely stunning”
It is a debut for Mark Bradbury, holding the baton for BLOG for the first time “I adore Sondheim, he is so intricate and exhilarating, the voices in the cast blend so well and I couldn’t imagine a stronger leading man in Andrew English as Bobby. It will be a great show, it’s really refreshing to be challenged and entertained as an audience, not many writers achieve that and Sondheim has mastered it beautifully.”
Bookings for this much anticipated musical can be made online or through the BLOG Box Office number. All seats are £12, evening performances only.
18 -21 July 2011 7:30pm. Wroughton Theatre Bath.
Booking online: http://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/24718 Or Tel: 01225 863740
Follow us @companysondheim
All enquiries Petra Schofield 07966 552 853 Press Night 18th July 7:30pm
The award winning, ever impressive Bath based Exit Stage Left return to the Rondo this year with another Bath premiere of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” A brilliantly witty, observational musical which holds as the mantle of the longest running off – Broadway musical.
Those who were fortunate enough to see “A New Brain” at The Rondo last year or on its subsequent tour will know that this Company are a force to be reckoned with. Attracting some of the best talent in the area they are able to produce some bold new musical theatre writing, something which few other companies are brave enough to manage.
“…an outstanding achievement in all aspects…” Barbara Smith, (Rose Bowl Review, May 2011) Praise for A New Brain
James Bryant – Moore directs the production he explained:
“The title of this great show is self explanatory in many ways; as we aim to offer up a mirror up to the audience, asking them to see glimpses of their own experiences in the beautiful dialogue and cleverly crafted lyrics. The show explores the universal themes of being single, dating, marriage and the joys of parenthood, drawing comedy from the reality of those experiences. The wonderful observational style has left some of the company wondering if they’re actually talking about friends or their own situations. I have wanted to produce this show for some time as I believe the way that the play weaves through the relationships of various characters is a wonderful comment on modern relationships and socially it is completely relevant.”
Founder of Exit Stage Left, Alison McCausland has again ensured that Bath gets yet another taste of what Broadway is offering. “Some people just don’t want to see any old musical anymore; there is a real interest in new writing and getting away from commercial theatre. The Rondo is a brilliant venue and champions companies like us who want to do something different on a smaller scale”
The Company hope to tour following the Rondo dates and obviously another award in the cabinet would not be turned down either. Catch this great team at The Rondo Theatre www.rondotheatre.co.uk 11-14th July 8pm £10 / £8 concessions
All bookings: Bath Festival Box Office: 01225 463362 www.bathboxoffice.org.uk
Follow @ilyypnc Adult Themes age 12 +
Press Night: 11th July 2012. 8pm RSVP via Petra Schofield firstname.lastname@example.org
Powerhouse performance in Hull Truck revival
Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett – Theatre Royal Bath
This much talked about revival of Hull Truck Company’s original production to celebrate its 40th anniversary is full of the production genius we have grown to expect from them.
It would be easy to think that it is all an urban tale, a lady who lives in a van parks outside the home of Alan Bennett and subsequently moves into his garden and the 3 month agreements turns into a 15 year relationship. But the circumstances are absolutely true, the script nods to which episodes fall into artistic license and the audience are led, through a series of episodes chartering key points in the lives of both Bennett and Miss. Shepherd; the latter of whom battles with inner demons; guilt from an earlier accident, her life as an ambulance driver during the war, the torment from a Convent and the acknowledgement that she could have been a concert pianist.
Nicola McAuliffe is totally hypnotic, her ageing process utterly believable and whilst we listen to her deluded ramblings the control of the script is magical. McAuliffe is a confirmed expert of comedy and her expert timing draws further empathy from us and her decline into the inevitable end is totally compelling. This is no doubt a powerhouse of a performance and a master class for anyone who considers themselves a performer.
As the script is written by Bennett, it is easier to accept the two representations of Bennett on stage – both Sean McKenzie and Paul Kemp are visual excellent as the familiar Bennett. They interact with each other and the rest of the company in their dialogue one challenges the other. One is a timid, quiet, non confrontational Bennett, the other an angry, critical slightly resentful Bennett. The script hints at the self critical Bennett, his jokes about Joe Orton’s writing also pertinent and witty.
The play is episodic and Miss. Shepherd remains a total enigma, we don’t really learn a great deal about Bennett the man either but this does not distract from a beautiful production; the wonderful van / vans are magical centre pieces.
The rest of the company play many roles effortlessly from sympathetic if slightly relieved neighbours to a greatly observed social worker.
The staging, lighting, direction all fit seamlessly together, the skilful direction from Sarah Esdaile allowing the journey to flow smoothly, the energy and interaction on stage set against the static van keeps the pace alive and we are drawn into such an extraordinary moment in the life of a “celebrity” and a “lady in a van” The exceptional show of generosity from Bennett – not many people I know would do the same, is an unexplored avenue. Maybe they just fit together their coexistence giving each other an identity.
The tour ends this Saturday, a triumph for Hull Truck once again.
Performances continue until Saturday www.theatreroyal.org.uk 01225 448844
Great write up and publicity in The Somerset Guardian – all systems go for Jungle Book this weekend, it’s going to be a busy one!
Great news – The Decent Rogues will be holding a showcase at The Dress Circle Shop London, 21st March at 1pm – come along if you can and get a flavour of Horston Barrow prior to The Bridewell run 22-24 March 2012
The Decent Rogues win “Best Musical” at The NODA Awards in Torquay – wonderful achievement for all involved and a great boost ahead of the London push. Not long now 22-24th March Bridewell Theatre all details on www.thedecentrogues.com