Reviews

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

  There are few more pleasant theatrical experiences than a good production of Oscar Wilde’s famous play, and this is a good production. You could say it should be, having been eighteen months in preparation (it was originally scheduled for April 2020), but the pandemic that caused the delay also caused difficulties even after the lifting of the more restrictive regulations. Director Peter Nunan asks in his programme note for our patience with what he calls a “skeleton production”. Although there’s no scenery, most of the same furniture does service for both halves and there are no directorial fireworks, it
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Double Bill: ‘Yards Apart’ and ‘Sharks in the Custard’

Double Bill: ‘Yards Apart’ and ‘Sharks in the Custard’

This evening I spent a very enjoyable few hours at the Maskers Theatre seeing a Double Bill of plays. It was fabulous finding myself back in the audience once again after a considerable hiatus. First up was Yards Apart, an incredibly heart-warming tale of two people, their very different lives and world views which collide for the betterment of everyone involved. My star of the overall evening goes immediately to Anna Hussey, who sparkled as the bolshy, free spirited Viki, a pregnant mother who has newly arrived in the UK from Eastern Europe. Anna’s accent and physicality whilst pregnant where
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Pies and Prejudice

Pies and Prejudice

The beautiful reception room of the Mayor’s Winchester residence was the perfect setting for Pies and Prejudice, an amusing exploration of the importance of food in Jane Austin’s letters and novels. As Austin was born and lived in the Hampshire village of Chawton before moving to Winchester, Abbey House was a particularly fitting location, with the venue and costumes (on loan from neighbouring Chesil Theatre) transporting us back to Regency England. Cecily O’Neill’s short (30-minute) play concerns the observations and opinions of two female characters on food, health, gardening and marriage – all topics that Austin referred to in great
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Playhouse Creatures

Playhouse Creatures

  No-one could have known that my review of Timon of Athens at the Bournemouth Little Theatre in February last year would be my last review anywhere for 17 months. Tonight’s production of Playhouse Creatures is my first since then and only the second main production at this theatre in that same time-frame. Maybe one day someone will write a play about the COVID-19 pandemic – it might even be performed at the BLT. Having recently read The Diaries of Thomas Pepys, who was an enthusiastic theatre-goer, I was excited to see a play set in the period covered by his
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The Princess and the Pauper

The Princess and the Pauper

This new musical was inspired by the classic tale of mistaken identity – The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. In this version two girls, with identical appearances, swap roles. Tess is born a pauper to a cruel, dishonest father, whilst Bess is the daughter of the King of England. After changing clothes, Bess is mistakenly expelled from the palace and discovers to her horror what life is like living in poverty in Tudor London. Tess, on the other hand, is astonished to find herself living in a palace. Despite her protestations, she is unable to convince the courtiers
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Elizabeth Hyde (Pirates, Castaways & Codfish event)

Elizabeth Hyde (Pirates, Castaways & Codfish event)

Poole Town has an incredibly interesting and varied maritime history which is passionately preserved by many local groups and businesses. It’s this passion which brings so many historical and celebratory events to Poole each year. This weekend I headed over to Scaplen’s Court in Old Town Poole to watch the Scaplen’s Court Players perform Elizabeth Hyde at Pirates, Castaways and Codfish. The event was free, with donations gratefully received, and is designed for people of all ages. With storytelling, live theatre, boat building and sea shanties available, it was a pretty packed morning! Elizabeth Hyde was set in one of
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