Reviews

The Flint Street Nativity

The Flint Street Nativity

From the author of Calendar Girls comes The Masker’s latest offering, set around the trials and tribulations faced by many primary school teachers: the staging of the annual Nativity play. Mrs Horrocks’ class of seven-year olds is about to perform their version at Flint Street Infant School for the proud mums and dads, social workers, relatives, ‘friends’ and Aunty, as the revelations of the children’s mainly dysfunctional lives are slowly revealed via alternative lyric sung carols observations. The children are played by adults, who later play their parents. Squabbles arise when Gabriel wants to play Mary, the Star grumbles she’s
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Shush

Shush

The Plaza Theatre Green Room is the perfect intimate setting for the latest RAODS’ production of Elaine Murphy’s most recent play Shush – a play commissioned by the celebrated Abbey Theatre in Dublin (The National Theatre of Ireland), which has been a centre of Irish drama and a breeding ground for fine realistic acting for over 100 years. Shush continues in this tradition of ‘naturalism’ where the audience is invited to eavesdrop on the conversations of ordinary people living out their lives. Elaine Murphy is a native of Dublin who first came to prominence with her award winning debut play
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Regeneration

Regeneration

This is the time of year when many musical theatre societies stage one-off concerts, presumably to keep their talents – both vocal and social – tuned up before starting rehearsals for the main show that they will put on in the spring or early summer. It is also a chance to experiment and to try something a bit different which takes both individuals and the company out of their comfort zone. More important still, such concerts provide excellent entertainment for their audiences, too. This was certainly the case with Wimborne Musical Society’s Regeneration, the story of a couple packing up
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The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The Caucasian Chalk Circle is essentially a play within a play, where the conflict between two communities over a mutually valued piece of land is played out through the fable of a serving girl who rescues a baby, abandoned by his affluent self-absorbed mother as she flees from danger, and becomes a far better parent figure to the baby. Bertolt Brecht’s form of theatre may not be comfortable viewing for everyone – and, arguably, that is what the German modernist playwright set out to achieve when he started to write The Caucasian Chalk Circle in the early 1930s. Whereas a
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A Vicar Of Dibley Christmas – The Second Coming

A Vicar Of Dibley Christmas – The Second Coming

Some 25 years ago I spent many a happy hour at the Mowlem Theatre in Swanage. I am happy to say I spent two more very happy hours there last night. When I heard I was to review The Vicar of Dibley I was intrigued to know how an amateur, or indeed any company, would stage such an iconic show. The characters are so vibrant, so memorable. Do you alienate your audience by a) taking them in a completely different direction, or b) trying but not quite managing to recreate those characters? Swanage Drama decided to remain faithful to the
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Comedy Playhouse: ‘Plaza Suite (Cool It)’ & ‘Serving Up Trouble’

Comedy Playhouse: ‘Plaza Suite (Cool It)’ & ‘Serving Up Trouble’

Sway Drama Club (SDC) is dishing up a tasty treat of two one-act plays, with a ploughman’s supper during the interval, under their Comedy Playhouse banner – all for the bargain price of just a tenner.  The first course is a playlet adaptation from the 1968 Neil Simon comedy play (and subsequent film) Plaza Suite, with Serving Up Trouble written and directed by SDC stalwart Lisa Siuda for the dessert.  Definitely fantastic value and an appetising prospect! The original Plaza Suite play is comprised of three separate stories which are all set in Suite 719 of the New York City’s
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