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Review: Sea Wall

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Simon Stephens’ Sea Wall is raw and devastating. This one-man play begins lightly, Alex (Andrew Scott) chatting amiably about his father-in-law, holidays in the South of France, and his deep affection for his wife and daughter. Yet, strung through this narrative is a tension that tightens as the story unfolds. The audience are constantly on edge, watching as Alex circles closer and closer to the painful story aching at the play’s centre. Continue reading Review: Sea Wall

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Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein

A collection of 3,500 light bulbs hang above the audience, flashing all at once, as electronic static buzzes persistently. A spherical, beige screen – veiny, alien, womb-like – stands alone on the stage, until suddenly a hand bursts through it. Even for a virtual viewer, there is a sensory overload of light and sound as the Creature falls hard on the floor. It convulses and squirms, wet and barely conscious, twitching like a fish out of water. In silence, we watch it attempt to move, adjusting to its limbs as if paralysed. Continue reading Review: National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein

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Review: National Theatre at Home: Twelfth Night

From director Simon Godwin comes a colourful, chaotic frenzy of a Twelfth Night that is choc-a-bloc with laughs, love, music and anguish. As part of the National Theatre at Home’s free YouTube streaming of shows, this week we are treated to Godwin’s vision of the foolish antics of Shakespeare’s tortured misfits and loveable rogues.

If you aren’t familiar with Twelfth Night, it is a classic Shakespeare comedy about mistaken identity. Sebastian and Viola are shipwrecked on the island of Illyria, and Viola assumes her brother’s identity, thinking he is dead. However, things don’t go smoothly for her when she gets caught in a love triangle with the Duke Orsino and Olivia, doting on him while Olivia dotes as much on her. Continue reading Review: National Theatre at Home: Twelfth Night

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Review: National Theatre at Home: Jane Eyre

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Jane Eyre seeks to enhance the progressive, feminist quality of Charlotte Bronte’s writing. Through physical theatre, evocative music and a fiery protagonist, this play strives to shift this classic love story into a bildungsroman. While slightly encumbered by its three-hour length and a depth of source material to untangle, this adaptation undeniably succeeds in bringing something new to well-trodden territory. Continue reading Review: National Theatre at Home: Jane Eyre

Review: Family on Screen: The Wind in the Willows

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

To provide some escapism and light relief from the prevailing news reports surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, the producers of the West End 2017 production of The Wind in the Willows are streaming the show online for free. Whilst I appreciate the attempt to bring the magic of theatre to the comfort of one’s home, this production with its bumpy and dull storyline and unlikeable, arrogant protagonist, partnered with buffering Wi-Fi, leaves something to be desired.  Continue reading Review: Family on Screen: The Wind in the Willows

Review: Seafret @ Exeter Phoenix

Having seen Seafret perform 4 years ago in the basement of a Manchester club, I had high expectations for this gig. Despite the rising fears surrounding COVID-19 after four people in Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital testing positive that morning, there was a decent crowd present for Seafret’s performance at Exeter Phoenix. The atmosphere at the start of the night was somewhat timid with the crowd fairly well spread in the standing area. However, as the night progressed and people got more comfortable, the atmosphere lifted with a few groups dancing and many others singing along. Continue reading Review: Seafret @ Exeter Phoenix

Review: BSO’s Hollywood Head to Head

The Great Hall, Exeter – Friday 6th March 2020

The Great Hall was at maximum capacity on Friday night, both on stage and in the stalls, as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra pulled out all the stops for their annual film-themed concert. A massive 84-person strong orchestra filled the stage to bring to life the glorious works of the world’s two greatest living film composers – John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Continue reading Review: BSO’s Hollywood Head to Head