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Curtain Call in COVID-19

The last time I saw live theatre was back in late 2019, when I was sat watching Paul O’Grady in drag performing in the pantomime version of Goldilocks. Despite my preconceptions of watching a pantomime as an adult, it was surprisingly rude and worthy of genuine laughs out loud. I left the theatre entertained and desperate to tell any unlucky acquaintance about the past two hours of sex and bum jokes I had just witnessed. Over a year later, it looks like theatres will finally be able to reopen to half capacity on 17 May 2021, and full capacity on that fated day in June 2021. But with the cinema industry hit hard enough to bankrupt Cineworld, things don’t bode well for the theatre industry. Continue reading Curtain Call in COVID-19

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Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

Out of all of William Shakespeare’s plays, Taming of the Shrew is one of the trickiest plays to perform from the perspective of the whole creative team. The play, which at the time of writing was seen as a lighthearted comedy, could now be described as ‘problematic’ at best. The premise of the play, a ‘shrewish’ young woman, Katherine, being ‘tamed’, or more accurately, abused, by her husband into submission, would now make any modern viewer shift uncomfortably in their seat. Continue reading Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

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Review: Uncle Vanya

Anton Checkhov’s 1899 play Uncle Vanya resonates with modern audiences differently when compared to the play’s intended audience, and this is epitomised by the latest production. The cast is filled with well-known faces, although these actors are more familiar swinging a metal detector or flying an aeroplane they adapt to the heightened tone, creating an exaggerated realism that does not permit the audience a moment … Continue reading Review: Uncle Vanya

RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

On Sunday night, I put on my make-up and dusted off a dress to go to the theatre. The unusual aspect was that it was a virtual one, where Zoom became the stage, but still a theatre nonetheless. It was the first reveal of Theatre with Teeth’s witty comedy, Hair, and with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a full, in-person performance on hold for the foreseeable future, the talented members of the society decided to virtually showcase extracts from their upcoming production. Written and directed by Leila Lockley, Hair tells the story of a young, aspiring Black actress, Ali (Marion Ojua) in her pursuit to break into the industry. However, Ali quickly discovers that the people around her, particularly casting agents, are far too concerned with appearances and stereotypes, as she faces multiple microaggressions and instances of discrimination. Following the performance, I had the privilege of chatting with the cast and crew of Hair to discuss the rehearsal process and the inspiration behind this moving play. Continue reading RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

Review: EUTCo’s Extracts from One for Sorrow

Exeter University Theatre Company’s (EUTCo) performance of extracts from their production One for Sorrow was powerful, intriguing, and tense. The experience of theatre over Zoom was something new for me, as I have not seen anything like this before (despite a neighbour having attended a Zoom pantomime, and my friends enjoying online concerts). I have always loved going to the theatre, and it is great that technology gives EUTCo the opportunity to present their performance to a widespread audience, despite not being able to showcase it in person. Continue reading Review: EUTCo’s Extracts from One for Sorrow

Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Confined to the safe and cosy space of my bedroom, Out of the Blue Theatre pierced my heart with their wonderful production, IMAGINARIUM. Out of the Blue has beautifully transformed theatre into a progressive, interactive, audio-immersive journey of the self. With no visual aids to help bring the production to life, you are dependent upon your own imagination. And so, the production establishes a collaborative process between listener and actor. This revolutionary creative form, which I can only describe as an amalgamation of theatre watching, meditating, and podcast listening, has cultivated a profoundly personal exploration of the unknown, which makes the impossible imaginable. Continue reading Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Intimacy and Isolation: Coordinating Intimate Scenes on Production Sets

Intimacy onscreen has been an ever-evolving phenomenon. Starting out as a somewhat taboo aspect of narrative, intimate scenes were often avoided by swift cuts or cameras panning urgently away. But all this did was rob us of sentimental moments. There was even a time, and I think this is still the case for some people’s perspectives, when anything of an intimate nature was flippantly labelled … Continue reading Intimacy and Isolation: Coordinating Intimate Scenes on Production Sets

Review: Re-Animator by Everything Everything

Inconsistent but with moments of brilliance, and what might be one of the most important songs of the year. 3.5/5 stars Manchester Prog-Rock/Pop outfit Everything Everything turned heads with their 2015 album, Get to Heaven, and have rarely disappointed since. Frontman Jonathan Higgs proved himself a writer attuned to current affairs, with the band hiding weighty political ideas behind catchy melodies and fast paced rhythms. … Continue reading Review: Re-Animator by Everything Everything

Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Katie Wood is a fourth-year Drama student at the University of Exeter who has a particular interest in creating sustainable theatre at the production level. In this interview, we discuss barriers to sustainable theatre, as well as what steps have been made within the university to mitigate student theatre’s impact upon the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

Iqbal Khan’s Othello is a haunting rendition of psychological unravelling. With a stage bathed in blue light, a set reminiscent of a gothic church, and songs performed like elegies, Shakespeare’s controversial tragedy undergoes a thematic dismantling. Khan’s Othello recontextualises the play’s depictions of brutality and injustice. Costumes wander in a realm between modern and timeless, and additional dialogue involves the multi-racial community exchanging racist insults using current language. Most notably, the dynamic between Othello and the manipulative Iago shifts, with the compelling casting choice of a black actor as Iago. Continue reading Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello