Preview: BSO’s Hollywood Head to Head

Fri 6th March – 7:30pm – Exeter, Great Hall

 The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns to the Great Hall stage on Friday with a programme of music from the big screen conducted by Pete Harrison.

Tickets are selling fast for this eagerly-anticipated performance. Bringing together the iconic works of John Williams and Hans Zimmer – two of the world’s greatest living film composers – we are in for a night of cinematic brilliance. Continue reading Preview: BSO’s Hollywood Head to Head

Review: Night of the Living Dead: Remix

The Night of the Living Dead is often perceived as one of the best horror films in history. It follows the tale of seven strangers trapped in a house in Pennsylvania who must attempt to separate their differences and survive a distressing zombie apocalypse. On Tuesday March 25th I had the opportunity to watch Imitating The Dog’s Night of the Living Dead: Remix (directed by Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks) at the Northcott Theatre, and I went into the performance completely blind, having seen no trailers for it. Continue reading Review: Night of the Living Dead: Remix

Review: Spotlights:Shine Like The Sun

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

With an eclectic mix of musical theatre tunes from classics to upcoming shows, Exeter University’s Spotlights performed with passion, energy and chemistry on the Exeter Phoenix stage. The company connected with the audience, singing and performing with intensity and incredible ability which were captivating from the first note. With a particular focus on celebrating individuality and inspiring self-confidence and expression, the Spotlights cast and crew created an atmosphere that consistently communicated their message. Continue reading Review: Spotlights:Shine Like The Sun

Review: Spork! The Valentine(ish) Edition @ Exeter Phoenix

Spork! is a delightful evening of poetry, comedy, rap and performance, which brings together local artists in celebration of spoken word. Hosted by Chris White, Spork! is full of the weird and wonderful, it’s variety making each show unique, exciting and guaranteed to include something for everyone. On Tuesday 11 February, I was lucky enough to see their ‘Valentine(ish)’ special, in which poetic performances were based (loosely) on theme of love. Continue reading Review: Spork! The Valentine(ish) Edition @ Exeter Phoenix

Review: Bang Bang! @ Exeter Northcott

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Bang Bang!, John Cleese’s stage debut, gives us everything we could expect of a farce: dropped and misplaced trousers, slammed doors and hiding in wardrobes. While it’s undeniable that the audience enjoys this, there’s a lingering feeling of nostalgia for a genre which has certainly passed its heyday.

Adapted from Georges Feydeau’s French farce Monsieur Chasse!, Bang Bang! centres on a story of marital deceit with the wronged Leontine (Tessa Peake-Jones) taking revenge on her philandering husband, Duchotel (Tony Gardner), by setting up her own affair with Doctor Moricet (Richard Earl). The two couples end up conducting their affairs in opposite apartments which the fallen Countess Latour (Wendi Peters) manages. Leontine and Duchotel’s desperate attempts to conceal their affairs from the other result in tremendous laughter from the audience. Continue reading Review: Bang Bang! @ Exeter Northcott

Review: Salmon @ Exeter Phoenix

Entering Exeter Phoenix’s Workshop, we find protagonist Angus (Josh Smith) sprawled on a mattress, surrounded by marks of decay and neglect. In his litter of crushed beer cans, empty wrappers and cigarette packets, it’s easy to see that this is a man who’s not doing well. Yet Angus is much less capable of admitting this to himself. On this journey towards acceptance, writers and directors Constance McCaig and Eva Lily have shaped a compelling narrative that bravely faces drug-culture, mental health, and the difficulties of youth, delving into these complex themes with fierce honesty and intensity.
Continue reading Review: Salmon @ Exeter Phoenix

Review: Richard Alston Dance Company @ Exeter Northcott

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Emotional, contemporarily balletic and deeply European.

Richard Alston has been at the forefront of contemporary ballet for decades and this, his final tour, serves as a reminder of the choreographer’s opus and reach. His training with Merce Cunningham and subsequent work as director of world-renowned Ballet Rambert has had an immeasurable effect on the contemporary dance scene and environment. The evening’s programme presented four competent, moving, complex and beautiful pieces.

We were treated first to Voices and Light Footsteps, which finds images of flowing line and courtship in Monteverdi’s madrigals. The emulation of Italian renaissance dances brings the music to life, though the focus on moves which ground the dancers, with only a few lifts and leaps, makes for a slow and heavy feeling start to the proceedings. Continue reading Review: Richard Alston Dance Company @ Exeter Northcott

Interview: Tessa Peake-Jones, Actor in Bang Bang!

Farce is “a particular sense of humour”, Tessa Peake-Jones admits as we sit down to chat in Bang Bang!’s rehearsal space at Exeter’s Maketank. It’s less than a week before their opening night at Exeter Northcott and for Peake-Jones, known for her roles in Only Fools and Horses and Granchester, this is her first experience acting what she refers to as “proper farce, traditional farce.” It is also the stage writing debut of British comedy legend, John Cleese, who has previously achieved global success with works such as Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. Continue reading Interview: Tessa Peake-Jones, Actor in Bang Bang!

Interview: Wendi Peters, Actor in Bang Bang!

Adapted by John Cleese from a late 19th century comedy by Georges Feydeau, Bang Bang! begins its UK tour at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, performing from 6-15 February. It’s a farce about extra-marital affairs, deception, revenge, traps and chaos!

I interviewed Wendi Peters, who plays Countess Latour, prior to the show’s opening and was intrigued to hear how she’d describe the play in her own words. “Bang Bang! is a fast, funny farce. It’s absolute mayhem. But it’s brilliant mayhem.” Audiences can expect things to go “horribly wrong,” the unusual breaking of the fourth wall, for doors and wardrobes to come in, and a pair of trousers to play a role in the comedy (as is typical of farce). She affirms, “it is just brilliant, and it will definitely keep your attention and keep you laughing for a full two hours.” Continue reading Interview: Wendi Peters, Actor in Bang Bang!