Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

When theatres fell dark on Monday 16 March 2020, few could have imagined that nearly four months later their doors would remain closed. Their auditoriums decidedly empty and their stages eerily quiet. While lockdown has meant we’ve been able to enjoy award-winning productions streamed directly to our homes, performers, technicians and audiences alike are now eagerly anticipating a return to normality, itching for theatres to raise their curtains once more. Continue reading Theatres in the Dark: Here’s How You Can Support Your Local Playhouse

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!

Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

Gatsby: the name is synonymous with glamour, the roaring ‘20s, extravagant excess, wealth, parties, hedonism, flowing alcohol, the power to turn dreams into reality, and the sense of a lost time. It also signifies a story of dashed ambition and tragedy. EUTCO’s production of The Great Gatsby at the Northcott, adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic, drew out these tensions thoughtfully and impressively. Published in 1925, Fitzgerald’s novel has undergone a whole new revival with the onset of the 2020s. Mimi Templar Gay’s direction produced a play which encouraged its audience to reflect on its relevance to our present time, particularly in light of its pervasive concerns with money, success and what it means to be fortunate. Continue reading Review: EUTCO’s The Great Gatsby

Is the Face of Theatre Truly Changing?

Sustainability means eco-friendly, right? Lately, it seems that those words have become interchangeable. So, when thinking about sustainability in the theatre world we know that if theatre bars stop using plastic cups and advertisers make recyclable programmes, the industry is sustainable enough to stay afloat. In reality, sustainability in theatre is not limited to greenifying its spaces. It needs to achieve what the Theatre Trust calls ‘the triple bottom line’, meaning environmental, social, and economic sustainability. However, recently the theatre spotlight has illuminated a significant problem; that this art form no longer has a sustainable audience. Continue reading Is the Face of Theatre Truly Changing?

Romeo A Juliet @ Exeter Northcott

Ballet Cymru, led by artistic director Darius James (OBE), claims to do things a bit differently. If we are to judge by this revival tour of their 2013 ballet Romeo a Juliet, choreographed by him and assistant artistic director Amy Doughty, that statement is indeed true. I applaud the moves towards inclusivity, which feel genuine and never tokenistic. To have a female dancer portraying Benvolio and Friar Lawrence, as well as a wheelchair-using dancer (Joe Powell-Main) in ballet are mention-worthy. It would have been wonderful to see Powell-Main featured even more prominently, but this inclusion is definitely the move in the right direction for ballet and dance in general. Continue reading Romeo A Juliet @ Exeter Northcott

Review: Black Men Walking @ Exeter Northcott

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this review do not represent those of the Magazine as a whole, they are an individual’s interpretation.

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Undeniably it is extremely important to have diverse representation. I applaud any and all work by emerging artists from marginalised communities. Their experiences and perspectives are eye-opening and have to be a part of our theatre scene. With that in mind, however, in my opinion this production unfortunately misses the mark on representing these complex ideas which it desperately wants to put on stage. Continue reading Review: Black Men Walking @ 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: Rita, Sue & Bob Too @ Exeter Northcott

Rita, Sue & Bob Too, playing at the Northcott theatre, tells the story of Rita (Alyce Liburd) and Sue (Gemma Dobson), two 15-year-old girls living in Bradford in 80’s Britain, who are sexually pursued by an older, married man that they babysit for. The show examines gender relations that seem prevalent in our current #MeToo climate where powerful men take advantage of young women. While the play managed to portray two lovable protagonists, the vital conversations around sexual abuse fell silent. Continue reading Review: Rita, Sue & Bob Too @ Exeter Northcott