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Tag Archive | "Young Reviewers Club"

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Review: The Birthday of the Infanta

Posted on 04 April 2011 by The Unit

As I entered the stage space, I was kindly greeted by a middle-aged woman, dressed from head to toe in grand white Spanish clothing, to whom I said “Are you an actress?” She replied, “You’ll see,” and recommended that I took a seat in the front row. I did, and waited for the rest of the audience to take their seats whilst noticing the beautifully constructed set, made of simple white material and metal rope shapes, hanging fans, a life size frame and a translucent screen, including different levels.

The show started with the afore mentioned woman questioning the (shockingly scarce) audience about the emotions linked with ‘Birthdays’. After a slow start, most of the audience chipped in with their opinions, much to the joy of the actress. I quickly discovered that the show was a one-woman performance but with the amount of skill Georgina Roberts has, more performers would have hindered the performance.

A great variety of characters were played by Roberts, each more inspiring than the last. One particular character that stood out for me was the ‘Infanta’ herself, for the pure look of innocence Roberts gave her. Another character I can’t go without mentioning is the ‘ugly boy’, who was portrayed in a variety of different forms, including Roberts wearing a mask and a little puppet made of metal.

The performance included a lot of symbolism, whether it was a head height tightrope, stretched down or flowers made from fans, I couldn’t have asked for more interesting interpretations.

One of the elements of theatre that is especially hard to perfect is audience participation. I am glad to say Roberts did a magnificent job of including the audience throughout, and I very much enjoyed presenting the Infanta with a white rose, after being chosen from the audience. Something else that is hard to keep the audience engaged with is language; especially foreign languages, which Roberts seamlessly slid into the script without a single blip.

Since you’ve missed the awesome opportunity to experience Trestle Unmasked in Salisbury, I suggest you shuffle on down to Bath, where the show is travelling next. Grab a ticket while you can and prepare yourself for a performance like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

This review was written by Megs Slark and brought to you by The Unit’s Young Reviewers Club, supporting young people to get access to a range of gigs and cultural events and activities in and around Salisbury. For more information on The Unit, see their website here.

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Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Posted on 04 April 2011 by The Unit

Headlong Theatre’s adaptation of this classic masterpiece gets in touch with younger generations with its use of multimedia and setting. It is one of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, taking two couples and challenging their love for each other by inducing false impressions of love through fairies, who also seem to be having problems when it comes to affection. With donkeys and disaster, this production is an excellent chance to appreciate Britain’s literary heritage.

The play is set in a 1960s film studio, in which a Hollywood movie is being filmed. The love lives of characters on and off the stage use Shakespeare’s original texts to combine a classic romantic comedy with society we can all relate to. The audience will often see familiar props – such as 3D glasses and tricycles – to keep the feel of a modern play, which really helps to empathise with the characters. The twisted stories of Helena, Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander – as well as Hippolyta and Theseus – are followed as the characters journey deeper into mystery and magic, as well as going deeper into themselves. The ideas of love and romance expressed in the play really draw the audience’s attention to what is real and what is superficial, as well as being a suitable comedy for young people to enjoy.

I would recommend watching this play to any GCSE or A Level drama students, or indeed anyone at all who has an interest in theatre and the arts. Props, costume and multimedia are all pulled together to create this stunning adaptation.

On a personal level, I thought the performance in general was very good – the acting quality was clearly very high. It’s clear that the actors all had a voice in the directing of the play, which resulted in a very polished performance. However, I feel the language barrier was still present and to a modern day audience could be hard to penetrate, yet the general visuals of the play (costumes, props, scenery etc.) helped to ensure the audience’s understanding.

In conclusion, the play was professional and an inspiration to any budding artist – musical, visual or theatrical as it appeases all audiences. It has just finished its run at Salisbury Playhouse and continues on to Glasgow and Cambridge.

This review was written by Kirby Dunwell and brought to you by The Unit’s Young Reviewers Club, supporting young people to get access to a range of gigs and cultural events and activities in and around Salisbury. For more information on The Unit, see its website here.

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Review by The Unit: The Constant Wife

Posted on 04 March 2011 by The Unit

The Constant Wife is a really rather splendidly written play about Constance Middleton, your average 1920s middle-class housewife, who has what she would call a rather different outlook on life. Aware that her unloved husband is having an affair with her best friend, Constance keep quiet and concocts a nasty little plan for revenge on her husband when one of her childhood sweethearts returns from Japan to gain her love. Constance begins to turn her disloyal husband, and her own rather dull life completely upside down…

In this lively, well-thought-out play, I particularly enjoyed the scenery and set. The set kept you entertained when the dialogue didn’t, and it kept changing: the flowers bought in by the butler in each scene grew more and more flamboyant and colourful as the play progressed. The modern furnishings and the way the actors interacted with the props added to the high quality of the play.

The actors were fluent in speaking their lines, and delivered them with clarity and necessary expression, sometimes exaggerating to make a joke out of someone, and occasionally shouting for emphasis and surprising the audience. Although I felt that some of the senior members of the audience would not be able to hear what she was saying clearly because of her posh English accent, Maggie Steed did a fabulous job of playing the rich, fussy mother, who had high expectations of her daughter. She entertained the audience with her theory for testing if one was in love (could you bear to use their toothbrush?).

I also enjoyed the simple plot, with the complex thought processes of all the characters interwoven with the rather outrageous goings on in the storyline, such as all the affairs the insults. As I mentioned earlier, this is a well-written play, and I believe that Salisbury Playhouse did a wonderful job of performing it, and I was extremely impressed. I would definitely recommend seeing it, and I look forward to the next production the Playhouse puts on, as it never fails to entertain.

The Constant Wife is playing at the Salisbury Playhouse until 5th March. Information and tickets available here.

This review was written by Charlotte Araya Moreland and brought to you by The Unit’s Young Reviewers Club, supporting young people to get access to a range of gigs and cultural events and activities in and around Salisbury. For more information on The Unit, see their website here.

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