Reviews

Present Laughter

Present Laughter

Present Laughter is an amusing play written by Noel Coward in 1939 but not actually produced until 1947 because, whilst rehearsing the show, the Second World War started and British Theatres closed. The plot depicts a few days in the life of the egotistical, successful and self-obsessed comedy actor Garry Essendine as he prepares to travel to Africa for a touring commitment. A series of hilarious events take place which Garry has to deal with – women who want to seduce him, placate both his long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, cope with a crazed young playwright and overcome his ‘mid-life’ crisis.
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The Lady In The Van

The Lady In The Van

Over the years, RAODS has built-up and maintained a high standard of performing and they continue to deliver every time. Last night was no exception as it was very easy to forget that these performers are only amateur. The Lady In The Van is based on the relatively true story of Miss Shepherd, an eccentric woman of uncertain origins, who `temporarily’ parked her van in writer Alan Bennett’s London driveway and proceeded to live there for the next 15 years. This story was made into a film in 2015 with Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings playing the central characters. Taking
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Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

One of Shakespeare’s most loved and oft-played comedies, Twelfth Night tells the tale of twins lost at sea (Viola and Sebastian), the fallout from the resultant shipwreck, mistaken identities, unrequited love and not a little mischief-making and chaos before order is restored. Maskers Theatre Company have developed a reputation for high quality outdoor productions – and for good reason! After years performing their annual summer outdoor show in the lavish grounds of first Mottisfont National Trust then Hamptworth Lodge, they have found a new location back in Southampton in the beautiful setting of Townhill Park House (The Gregg School), a
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Soho Cinders

Soho Cinders

Modern adaptations of classic fairy-tales are nothing new – Disney have been doing it for years! It’s remarkable how the basic plot of a mythic folk story continues to speak to audiences today. In the case of Cinderella, just remove the talking mice and picturesque castle, replace the female damsel with a young homosexual man named Robbie, stage in London’s Soho district and you’ve got yourself a quirky musical satire disguised as LGBT representation. The Players are not afraid to tackle the risqué and this year, they bravely undertake a relatively new and unknown musical, which always carries risk. Whilst
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Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime

Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime

Despite being excited about his forthcoming nuptials to his beloved Sybil Merton, when a chiromantist (palm reader) predicts that Lord Arthur Savile will commit murder, Arthur decides he must postpone his wedding until after the dastardly deed is done. With his trusted butler Baines and an inept anarchist ‘assisting’ him, a comedy of errors ensues, putting Arthur’s relatives and marriage plans in jeopardy. We were promised in the preview that this version of Oscar Wilde’s spoof mystery would have the “audience chuckling all the way home”. As the opening bars of a 1920s version of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ echoed through
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Shake Another Summer Cocktail

Shake Another Summer Cocktail

As Poole and Parkstone Productions continue celebrating their Centenary year, the company return for their annual Summer Cocktail performance. Featuring a tantalising concoction of drama and comedy from the players alongside a splash of choral harmonising from the singers, this recipe has already proven successful and the 2019 cocktail supports the standard and community feel audiences have come to expect. As a venue, the Broadstone War Memorial Hall is quaint, decked out in cabaret-fashion with seats dished out on a first-come first-serve basis, so ensure early arrival if you want a good seat! With nibbles, cheap drinks, Pimms, ice-cream and
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