Queer Trilogy

A Sticky Season

Jack Donald’s 60 minutes play A Sticky Season switches between what appears to be his own coming out dialogue, a brief history about two iconic famous gay writers Alan Ginsberg and Joe Owton and what sounded like the original news report of the day the law changed to recognise and accept homosexuality as no longer being illegal.

Fruit is the dominant theme running throughout. In the beginning, he reflects on his experience of examining fruit trees near his home last August, where he also reflects on his own sexual awakening. There are forbidden fruit references, for example, using a banana as a phallic symbol which the cast shared among themselves as it was eaten.

Marcus McManus and Rosie-Lea Sparkle never spoke throughout the performance. Their acting abilities were extremely good. McManus’s performance was captivating when he mimed through his roles as the various male gay encounters. Although never explicit you fully understood what was taking place during the intimate moments.

The dance club scenes in San Francisco were well choreographed, Mcmanus and Sparkle danced in sync changing from fast to slow motion in perfectly in time with each other. Actions certainly spoke louder than words for these talented young actors.

Donald’s use of music and singing divided the play up. Using these different devices to engage with the audience and keep it entertaining as well as informative. An unusual piece of theatre cleverly composed.

Cast

Jack Donald

Marcus McManus

Rosie-Lea Sparkle

Director

Pollyanna Newcombe

@Bliss Brutal

Minor Disruptions

An interactive theatre performance by Katie Paterson. Her ability to entertain while questioning was a usual platform to use. However, it worked well.

The stage was dressed with toys each representing a gender-specific role and various other random items, which became obvious as the play developed. Through her props and own experiences when growing up, she questions how gender is taught to a child. Questioning how and why children are taught to think and learn in this manner of what is expected of them rather than what they feel.

Inviting the audience to play with the props at the end of her show caused a lot of laughter. Members sprayed each other with water, messed about with Jenga and touched their inner child.

Cast

Katie Paterson

@KatieCPaterson

Crystal Bollix presents The Bitch Ball

As the title suggests the use of the word Bitch took a prominent place throughout the dialogue of this performance.

Alexandra Christie dressed in her extremely uncoordinated and obscure outfit ranging from a pair of jeans with one leg, see-through fishnet tights with extra holes on the other leg and a netted top with plaster crosses covering her nipples to a large pink wig. Set the scene for her extrovert presence on the stage.

With the aid of many different songs containing the lyrics bitch. She went on to show how the word can change between a positive meaning to becoming an insult. Lip syncing and acting as she acted out the different emotions evoked by one small word.

Her companion who plays the keyboard and aids her performance has been created as her polar opposite dressed smartly in black, little if any makeup and a plain hairstyle.

Cast

Alexandra Christle

Lena Stahl

Director

Kate Bauer

@CrystalBollix

@Applecandra

Minor Disruptions and Crystal Bollix are both performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Both shows are examples of work you expect to see there. Quirky, up to date themes and entertaining.

19th-23rd March 2019

At the
Drayton Arms Theatre
153 Old Brompton Road
London
SW5 0LJ

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Acting by Nick Card.

Newbury Dramatic Society

Presents Acting

20th and 21st March 2019

The Croft Hall

Hungerford

Berkshire, RG17 OHY.

Nick Card led act one through the programme section titled “Words and Wit”. The three separate pieces Card had written. First an introduction about himself and getting to know the audience appeared more of a formality to those who had come to support him. Then the tale of Tom in ” Toms last call” set during his last day working at the call centre, a very interesting dialogue. Ending the act with a selection of poems he had written.

The third set was comedy performed by seasoned compere comedian Mike Brook, who is an active member of the dramatic society. Some of the jokes were well used and older. However, where the delivery tended to be anecdotal it worked well and raised a few laughs.

Act two was the main production, Card’s play Acting. The scene is set after the Mother of the grieving family of four sisters has died and they are discussing the funeral arrangements with their Father. Along with the more important topic, how the inheritance was going to be divided. Cast pictured below in discussion over inheritance.

It soon descended into a snuff theatre play. Where the actors are being led by the voice coming through the loudspeaker. As each act within the play is performed another actor dies.

There was the addition of actors dotted throughout the audience who are placed to participate in an attempt to raise fear within the general audience. At times they were in slight danger of overacting. This technique will work well although it needs to be subtle and toned down. However, the Mum of one of the actresses bursting onto the stage to save her Daughter added a realistic edge to the play.

The Doctor who wasn’t a real Doctor played by Steven Culpeper pictured below, had some extremely funny entrances onto the stage as you saw the stagehand push him on quite often as he was reluctant to enter. His new technique for assessing a dead body was to kick it, brilliant comedy.


NERD was an intriguing title used by the hoax snuff link that translates into “nobody ever really dies”. As with many new themes in modern writing, it socially comments about the desire to get as many social media hits as possible regardless of consequences.

It’s an enjoyable new twist on Theatre and anything that moves an audience out of their comfort zone is worth watching in my opinion. This would only work in smaller venues as the effect could easily be lost on larger audiences.
Nick Card’s talents for writing span across several genres. This will hopefully boost his confidence after Newbury dramatic Society has performed this entertaining play. He shows a flair for writing well-crafted work and I look forward to seeing future productions.

Cast

Lisa Lund-Matilda

Emily Browne-Victoria

Jacqui Thumper-Portia

Liz Leake-Agatha

Mike Brook-Daddy

Steven Culpeper- The Doctor

Paul Strickland-The Voice

Joe McCarthy- Stage Crew 1

Ian Martin- Stage Crew 2

Steve Schollar- Audience member (calls for an ambulance)

Sarah Enticknap-Audience member (tries to save her daughter)

Ruth Wheeler-Audience member (pleads with voice)

Emma Morrisen and Charlotte Wilde- Audience members.

Technician-Mark Cole

Written and directed by Nick Card.

Newbury Dramatic Society

http://www.newburydramaticsociety.com

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare.

Billed as Shakespeare’s greatest romantic comedy as advertised on the front of the programme pictured above. Much Ado About Nothing has been reworked and relocated in this new staged production firmly into 1945.

The devastation caused by the six years of World War II is now finally over. The soldiers are finally returning home from the battlefields, and there is much excitement on the farm from the ladies who are working there. Setting an unusual but authentic scene for this latest adaption by Northern Broadsides and New Vic theatres of this famous Shakespeare play.

This version didn’t work for me in the beginning as adapting the language and characters away from the original settings to a beautiful farm scene wasn’t very easy and it took about 10-15 minutes to adjust and settle into the play. However, once the suspension of disbelief began to take hold there was nothing about this play to dislike.

The stage backdrop took the form of rolling countryside with an idyllic farmhouse featuring in it. The stage flooring was tile squares joined together and made to look like an ordinance survey map. An original and interestingly dressed stage highly commendable setting created by the New Vic Workshop.

Pictured above are some of the cast enjoying the masked dance.

The basic storyline in this well known Shakespeare classic remains unchanged, with the masquerade dance, couplings, deceit, romance and brilliant comedy all present.

Robin Simpson has all the right ingredients for the part of Benedick. He is charming, funny, charismatic and despite his arrogant manner, he is a likeable character. In a couple of solo scenes, Simpson commands his stage presence with ease and fully engages the audience as he delivers his solo speeches.

Beatrice, Benedicks pre-war love interest has been cast well to the very talented Isobel Middleton. Her comedy timings were especially brilliant and the couple’s relationship worked extremely well together on stage as their verbal sparring matches took place quite often throughout the performance. The anger and passion she evokes in the scene after Hero was jilted at the altar are very moving and her passionate delivery was word perfect.

In keeping with the era just after the War, all costumes had been well chosen and created to match the characters status, rank and with some obvious garments made to appear homemade with holes in them.

Musical director Rebekah Hughes had used some original musical ideas in this play. The live band and well-chosen music from that era added a great dimension as several of the cast played their instruments and sang. The barbershop quartet is one to watch out for as they harmony together perfectly.

The comedy, passion and word perfect performance is definitely a must see play. Overall it’s a thoroughly well cast, produced and directed performance. A very good version for younger newcomers to Shakespeare who are studying this play at school as it’s easy to follow, understand and learn more about the characters from the play.

Four stars.

Cast and Creative team list pictured below.

Playing from 19th-23rd March 2019 at;

Salisbury Playhouse,
Malthouse Lane,
Salisbury,
Wiltshire, SP2 7RA.

Please check online for ticket sales address below.

http://www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk

@salisburyplay

Never Trust a Man Bun by Katherine Thomas.

The brilliant writing, pathos, humour and heartache poured into this extremely well cast and performed 70-minute play is worth taking a trip to see. The stage is dressed with a sofa and a few pieces of functional furniture and a washing airer complete with washing all in keeping with a flat share.

Good friends from school Lucy and Gus now flatshare, who are pictured above. His ex who is now his current girlfriend Rachael upsets Lucy’s plans of a quiet night in to drink wine and watch Gogglebox. As Unbeknown to Lucy, Caps turns up at the flat on the request of Rachael to be part of a double date. Leading to some very unpleasant revelations and awkward moments as they all attempt to socialise.

Lucy played by the scriptwriter Katherine Thomas is sarcastic, blunt and very direct. During some of her one-liners its hard not to wince as she rips into the other three with cutting quips. Especially the “thick as shit Girlfriend ” Rachael. Who in many ways brings it upon herself with her unthought-out comments and unintelligent remarks. The raw honesty in Lucy’s part is for me refreshing.

Lucy’s body language in the photograph above tells the audience precisely how she feels about Caps.

Now enter the jealous double dater Caps and in keeping with the title of the play you really “…can’t trust a man bun”. He manipulates and divides the group to win back Rachael and in the process destroying the long-standing friendship between Gus and Lucy. While still managing to play the role of the hard done by the victim who mentions endlessly that he looks after his autistic sister for one hour a day.

Gus the kind and caring but quite naive and unsuspecting boyfriend realises that Rachael is not who he thought she was, as Caps flurts with her and lets the secrets slip on purpose. The innocent blonde who is so extremely nice certainly has a few uncomfortable skeletons lurking in the past. One of which is her past relationship with Caps.

Like Lucy, the play is very honest and blunt. The gasps in the audience behind me when the old flames share a late night kiss highlight the emotions that were provoked by this brilliant writing.

The very talented cast are pictured above from the left Caps, Lucy, Gus and Rachael.

As with many modern plays, we are not witnessing a happy ever after or cheerful resolution. In life, some things are best left and this play finishes leaving me to believe that nothing else needed to be said or done at that point.

Thomas has clearly studied a lot of people around her and many I dare say were possibly her peers. As each character could easily be identified as someone you could have met, known and then more than likely disliked.

Four stars

Written by Katherine Thomas

Directed by Scott Le Crass

Cast:

Gus-Calum Robshaw

Caps-Jack Forsyth-Noble

Lucy-Katherine Thomas

Rachael-Natasha Grace Hutt

Assistant Director-Henry Gilbert

Technical-Alexander Grieve.

Marketing photography by Michael Wharley.

Performance photographer Ali Wright.

Chidell Productions.

From 19th-24th March 2019.

Stockwell Playhouse

208 WANDSWORTH RD
LONDON, ENGLAND, SW8 2JU

Tel 0207 622 9208

Predrinks/Afterparty written by Jude Mack and Eliot Salt.

Anybody who has started a big night out from home with predrinks will recognise the scene/stage pictured below. The set is dressed and ready as the audience first enter the Theatre. I defy most of us during the early twenty something’s era not to have been in a room similar to this.

The outrageously funny cast, keep up the energy and passion throughout the entire 90-minute performance. From Angus, the lovable gay flatmate who has some fabulous dance moves in the first scene, through to Sazzle the crazed fan who has his face tattoed on her back and went to great extremes to be invited back to the flat after Angus’s stage debut night.

Watch out for the much-feared “vagagne” first online magazine article to go live. Which celebrity animal does your lasagne look like? This quickly gets hijacked from a disaster to the positive free your vagina hashtag instead.

We are introduced to some fantastic new comedy one-liners, for example, the “boner killer”, “treasure is knowledge” and a “deranged Cilla Black”. A refreshing change to watch original comedy being performed.

Will Leah and Ally get back together after Ally arrives back from New York to become Angus’s manager or Jack and Jenny become a couple after the ill-fated clown incident? We cannot be sure but it’s certainly going to be a lot of laughs on the way to finding out.

There is a constant array of random funnies and some well-scripted banter, this play is the perfect night out to be brilliantly entertained. One thing that comes across is how much the cast was enjoying their roles and at times trying to hold back their own laughter.

Eliot on the left and Jude on the right are pictured above.

Mack and Salt have a great rapport on stage and through the writing of this comedy it’s obvious, this extends behind the stage too. A duo to watch out for in the future, and the industry will certainly benefit from these two exceptionally talented young ladies.

Four and a half Stars

Cast

Angus-Harry Trevaldwyn

Leah-Jude Mack

Ally-Eliot Salt

Jenny-Olivia Marcus

Jack-Eric Stroud

Sazzle-Martha Pothen

Music-Will Irving

Lyrics-Mack and Salt

Vocalists-Merryl Ansah, Luke Ward, Tom Grant

Set design-Daisy Blower

Technician-Hannah Clancy

Directed by Alice Hoskyns.

@MackandSalt

mackandsaltproductions@gmail.com

Performances:

  • Tue 12th Mar 2019 – 7:30 pm

  • Wed 13th Mar 2019 – 7:30 pm

  • Thu 14th Mar 2019 – 7:30 pm

  • Fri 15th Mar 2019 – 7:30 pm

  • Sat 16th Mar 2019 – 7:30 pm

Drayton Arms Theatre
153 Old Brompton Road
London
SW5 0LJ

@pubtheatres1

#Londonpubtheatres.com/lpt-magazines

Saga written by Michael Currell.

This unusual and brilliant adaptation Saga by Michael Currell has been based on the work by August Strindberg’s surrealist piece of theatre A Dream Play, written in 1901.

The tale of Saga tells the tale of the daughter of the Gods who dramatically falls to earth at the start of the play. Her interest and curiosity about discovering who human beings really are and to hopefully fall in love. Experiencing some of the basic human emotions. However, she soon learns that through evolution humans have lost the capacity to want to feel through disillusionment and disappointments that feelings only lead to hurt.

Nothing gets lost in translation during the performance. Each of the four actors fluently speaks in both English and Swedish throughout the play. Currells excellent skills as a writer have ensured the audience can follow each scene by breaking each Swedish dialogue with enough key English words to understand the conversations which are taking place.

The updated adaptation mocks modern society. The desperate vlogger who craves likes at any cost on her posts, to the point of tragedy. Parents, whose last act of responsibility is a double murder to allow their son to finally have a life. These themes appear to be far fetched, but are they actually closer than we think?

This bleak outlook on society is broken up with some very funny scenes and brilliant one-liners, which are delivered brilliantly. However, If you are looking to escape Brexit, then hard luck as the chaos in our government at the present time is expertly mocked within the 60-minute play.

Olivia Stones ideas of a basic dressed set and minimal props work very well. As the audience can suspend their disbelief engaging fully with the actors and through audio recordings of angry crowds during a couple of scenes where you can visualise the chaos taking place outside the apartment block.

Upon leaving the play it is hard not to question how absurd modern life has become and how it would look to a complete outsider. When did vast swathes of society decide to stop feeling and believing in something real?

This production is perfect for the fringe theatregoers. Engaging, entertaining, topical and funny.

Four Stars

Cast

Saga-Frida Storm

Julia Florimo

Olivia Skoog

Marie Rabe

Directed and produced by Olivia Stone

Sound design by Lida Aino

Costume designer Harriet Billington

Stage Management by Gabriella Bland

Written by Michael Currell.

The Etcetera Theatre

Above Oxford Arms

Camden High St

London

@EtceteraTheatre

12th-16th March 2019

12th-24th August 2019

3rd-7th September TBC

@pubtheatres1

#Londonpubtheatres.com/lpt-magazines

Where is Ban Ki-Moon? written by Sam Rees.

Sam Rees and Hannah John pictured above as the Man and Woman.

In his new play, Where is Ban Ki-Moon? Writer Sam Rees has tackled depression is an unusual style that I have not seen performed before. Nothing quite prepares you for the energy and passion he pours into this emotionally fueled 60-minute play.

The interactive performance art slips from well-rehearsed outbursts of rage to describing how the couple met, the volatile love story between them and the strange relationship he builds up with the online scammer called Ban Ki-Moon aka Michael.

Rees has added some clever metaphors in describing the symptoms of depression, for example, the woman describes herself as “wired differently ” to the gruesome “wall of spikes” that one day we all might hit.

Every part of the stage is utilized during their performance and the recorded soundtrack of their conversations allow the audience to understand how the couple’s relationship functioned. Despite the sadness of depression, they were very much in love with each other. The chemistry between Hannah and Sam on stage adds to the dramatic effect that this play has to offer.

There are hints that the woman played by Hannah John commits suicide during the performance. However, this plays seems to be set in a postmodernist genre and the audience is left to decide for themselves. Clarity as to whether she did or not isn’t important. Raising awareness of this destructive illness is.

Three Stars.

Cast

Man-Sam Rees

Woman-Hannah John

Director-Pip Williams

Tech Operator-Louis Caro.

Twitter @WTOHTheatre

Facebook We Talk Of Horse Theatre Company

On from 11th-13th March 2019 7.30pm @katzpace

Contact Us

For all enquiries and submissions: info@katzpace.co.uk

Phone: 07554 487295

Find us in the basement of Katzenjammers!
Nearest Tube – London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern Line) Borough Market Exit.