Monthly Archives: July 2014
July 30 – Aug 24
Byron’s emotive, highly charged account of his time sectioned under the Mental Health act is an uncomfortable journey for us that pushes us and reaches out to us asking for us for be more tolerant of people who have mental illness. He asks us to consider if the treatments that patients in this country receive for being officially “not normal” are worse than the illness itself. The list of side effects of his medication is astounding as is his courage to stand up and give a warts and all account of his journey to get to that point and the personal pain he has suffered by being placed in one of our psychiatric establishments. It’s a serious subject but he gives us moments of plenty of moments of levity.
An interesting and informed performance to make us think about how society judges those with mental illness and the power that those that draw the metaphorical line between sane and insane and the ramifications that that can have for that individual. This is brave and entertaining theatre. THREE STARS
Reviewer David McMenemy
1-25 August (not 12th)
Jane Upton likes to put a bit of her life into her plays, as attested by 2011’s Fringe debut, Bones, which reflected her early years in Nottingham. Now living in the The Isle of White, she’s poured the very scent of the sea into her new play, Swimming, a sample of which you can see here;
The story plunges us into the world of teenage seasonal work, bringing three young ‘uns together to work out the interchanges & interplays of youth. This is done to the constant splish-splash of a wave-soundtrack, which really does soothe the senses as we immerse ourselves in the excelentl theatricals.
Jane Upton is a young writer, & this shines through in her choice of street-slang words & subjects, from masturbating blisters to cunts, cocks & minges. The lines are delivered with real confidence by the cast of three, which includes Bad Education’s Jack Bence. The stage is smartly set & there is one amazing scene where two of the characters strip off & wade into the Solent, which freaks out Mr Bence somewhat, who then simulates driving his car at his cowering semi-nude co-star.
Although aimed at the younger end of the theatre-going public, this play is a real treat & fully deserves its FOUR STARS
Reviewer- Damo Bullen
July 31st-Aug 25th (not 11th)
And so it begins…
I got a free ticket for this show from a pretty frauline in Bristo Square, & so left it to Karma to commence this year’s fringe-a-thon. The play I was given took place in the Gilded Balloon in the University buildings at Bristo Square, a thought-proving hour which told the story of a young American bombadier in the Second World War – Howard Zinn. Through songs & tapped-out rhythms, Zinn’s musings on the end of the war & his own needless bombing of an innocuous French town form the core of this series of vigenettes which flows together quite seamlessly.
A reading of some of the play
The company are based in LA, & bring that city’s sharpness & bombast to the stage with a wry aplomb, although with it being the first show of the run, & could feel that the players hadn’t quite gelled completely. They look good, though, five young actors & actresses clad in dining attire, with an equally black & white backdrop including a game of PONG – that mad tennis-game arcade game from the seventies.
So, I left the theatre satisfied, though not enthralled, & feel the show has laid down a great marker for future reviews this month – therefore I can only give it TWO STARS
Reviewer : Damo Bullen