Reviews

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Review: Assassins

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Through the stripes of a craftily constructed American flag, suits loom on a multi-levelled rostrum as lighting throws the eyes of their wearers into dark, empty sockets. Immobile for at least ten minutes before the show begins they set up an underlying tension that is only amplified as Assassins progresses.

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Review: Ridley’s Choice

 

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Ridley’s career may have been destroyed by negative reviews, but James P Mannion and George Varley have no reason to retire to the woodland cabin just yet. Mannion’s play explores the reality – and the fundamental unreality – of the isolation that many of us, at times, crave.

The play opens with Ridley (Varley) ensconced in his woodland retreat, striving for the peace that will elude him for the duration of the play. Taunted by his ever-present ‘friend’ Clive and pursued by the media, Ridley’s existential crisis provides the backdrop for an amusing reflection on whether we can ever escape the twenty first century and – avoiding cliché – our own problems.

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Preview: Ridley’s Choice

Director Jack Saville and writer James P Mannion, the duo behind last year’s Surprise, return with another seemingly familiar tale which plays fast and loose with the rules of reality. Cemented by impressive lead performances, Ridley’s Choice is a multi-layered experiment with the play’s format and is certain to challenge any preconceptions one might have previously held.

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Review: Orlando

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Last week, Tim Stanley proudly flaunted his ignorance in The Telegraph over what exactly gender is, snorting: “Apparently a “cis” is someone who identifies with the same gender that they were born with. So that’s a thing now”.

Yes, Tim, it is a thing now – and, as this difficult but well-executed production of Virginia Woolf’s quasi-autobiographical gender-bending novel proves, it’s been a thing for at least a few centuries. Or millennia. It’s difficult to tell; time in this play is malleable, contorting and folding over itself, jumping hundreds of years, in a lifetime, in an hour and forty minute run-time. (more…)

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Review: Monkey Bars

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I got my first taste of Monkey Bars last Saturday, at a rehearsal in St. John’s. Director Siwan Clark discussed her own motivation for putting on a production of the award-winning show from her mother’s work with vulnerable children, as the cast acted out a selection of scenes. Seeing the whole production in the intimate setting of the Burton Taylor Studio, I’m pleased to see, shows the same verve and energy from the preview. (more…)

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