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Review: The Lady Vanishes @ Exeter Northcott

Producing giant Bill Kenwright, through the aptly named Thriller Theatre Company, brings us a tour of the stage version of this 1938 classic film by Hitchcock. Roy Marsden directs this cast of big names (lots of people from telly, apparently) who navigate a grey and textured stage designed by Morgan Large.

The story concerns the socialite Iris, a sweet and wide-eyed woman travelling back to England to get married, who befriends Ms Froy, a former governess and music teacher. Ms Froy is the lady who vanishes during the journey and the other passengers all seem to be conspiring against Iris, claiming that the woman was never there. All but Max, a charmer who chooses to believe Iris and helps her uncover the mystery. There is the touch of the international and the historical: Charters and Caldicott discuss the cricket in a quintessentially British manner, Sinor Doppo is an Italian magician, and Nazi soldiers patrol the train. With promises of thriller, espionage, coded messages through song, and a train filled with characters and mystery, I was excited to be taken on this journey. Unfortunately, almost everything fell flat. Continue reading Review: The Lady Vanishes @ Exeter Northcott

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Review: Bleak House@Exeter Northcott

Atmospheric, theatrical, dirty and playful. Artaud and Brecht as a way to explore this episodic novel.

A dark and challenging night of theatre. If that’s what you like, you will be a fan of David Glass Ensemble’s production of Bleak House. What they do, they do very well.

The company of actors in white face paint with exaggerated facial features emerge around the audience, inciting gentle participation and thrusting the story right in our faces. It is expressionistic, visceral and self-aware. Scenes gel into one another, actors transform into different characters in front of our eyes, and the set of two-story scaffolding with removable wooden slabs and vertical steps literally frames the narrative. The whole stage is placed onto a layer of dirt and the costumes indicate the worn-out feel so vividly presented in Charles Dickens’ novel. Continue reading Review: Bleak House@Exeter Northcott

Review: The Lovely Bones @ Exeter Northcott

***** 5 stars A thrilling story of love, loss and growth is brought to life on the Northcott stage. WARNING – Strobe lights used throughout, so if you go and see this play, which I urge you to, beware of this. Prior to seeing the play, I considered myself superficially familiar with the intentionally messy and complicated plot, due to the smash hit film. Quick … Continue reading Review: The Lovely Bones @ Exeter Northcott

Review: Turn of the Screw @ Exeter Northcott

Turn of the Screw is a play adapted from the 1898 Victorian novel by Henry James, aiming high in its ambition to deliver a thrilling Woman in Black-style experience, but ultimately falling short of its popular stage cousin.

Indeed, the Woman in Black film and play are derived from the character that also features in Turn of the Screw. Having seen Woman in Black a couple of years ago, I had high hopes that this stage adaptation would provide a similarly memorable experience. While the two plays have their similarities, there is a certain tameness in Turn of the Screw, meaning that the play may succeed more for first time viewers of this genre. Continue reading Review: Turn of the Screw @ Exeter Northcott

Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott

Hold the phone. The award winning journalist, Sunday Times Style Columnist, co-host of The High Low and all round mega-babe Dolly Alderton is hitting our very own Northcott this March. After a hugely successful run of live dates throughout 2018, the Exeter Alumni returns to her alma mater to celebrate the paperback publication of her bestselling debut Everything I Know About Love. The paperback, which includes a new chapter Everything I Know At Thirty, discusses the surprising realisations and reflections that come with hitting such a milestone. Promising to be an evening full of love and laughter, it’s an event you certainly do not want to miss. Continue reading Preview: Dolly Alderton @ Exeter Northcott

Review: Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’ @ Exeter Northcott

The Yeomen of the Guard, presented by Exeter University’s Gilbert and Sullivan society, is the final of three student productions at the Northcott theatre this January, following EUTCo’s Lord of the Flies and Footlights’ Oklahoma!. The plot is centred around the Colonel Fairfax (George Protts), who is wrongly accused of sorcery and sentenced to death. In an attempt to preserve his estate, he secretly weds a strolling singer, Elsie Maynard (Hannah Timson), only to miraculously survive. What ensues is a Shakespearean-style comedy of mistaken identities, enhanced by operatic song and traditional dance. Continue reading Review: Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’ @ Exeter Northcott

Review: Footlights’ ‘Oklahoma!’ @ Exeter Northcott

Footlights captured the hearts of their audience as their outstanding performance of ‘Oklahoma!’ took over the Northcott theatre in a whirlwind of excitement and bustle on Wednesday afternoon. With over 100 students involved in the cast, band and production team combined, this is Exeter University’s largest theatre production of the year. All their effort in perfecting every minor detail of this show certainly paid off and is absolutely something they should all be proud of.

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