Latest Reviews

1 03 2010

Promises, Promises
Review by Christine Irvine
Random Accomplice Theatre Company Thursday 11 February 2010

Promises, Promises is miles away from the darkly comedic tale of supply-teaching shenanigans I was expecting. The subject matter is unflinchingly pitch black, but the pretty much astounding solo performance of Joanna Tope as re-instated primary teacher Miss Brodie (no, not that one), the beautifully evocative soundtrack and the imaginative use of visual effects to create the eerie figure of ‘demonically possessed’ five year-old Rosie combine to keep the audience enthralled even throughout the play’s perhaps overly long 90 minute running time.

Hamlet
Review by Christine Irvine
Rapture Theatre Company Saturday 20 February 2010

Rapture Theatre’s modern day re-working of Hamlet attempts to bring Shakespeare’s most famous play bang up to date by dragging the characters and their associated plotlines out of the 17th century, plonking them down in the middle of contemporary Glasgow and pretty much leaving them to fend for themselves. It’s a neat idea—the kingdom of Denmark becomes the disreputable Denmark Corp., Prince Hamlet is the student heir to his recently deceased father’s business fortune—but in my opinion the company loses out by not pushing the concept far enough, rendering the production’s main shout-out to originality a little superfluous. Luckily, this minor failure is eclipsed by the timelessness of Shakespeare’s original text and the excellent performances of the ensemble cast.

Of special mention are Emily Jane Boyle as Ophelia, who manages her character’s transition from lovelorn maiden to despairing madwoman with great control and sensitivity, and David Tarkenter’s Claudius, who is so slimy and menacing it’s frankly amazing it takes Hamlet’s mother Queen Gertrude (Valerie Gogan, not given nearly enough to do) quite as long as it does to recognize him as her first husband’s murderer.

Grant O’Rourke as Hamlet is obviously enjoying himself in the young prince’s maddest moments, dragging laughs out of a play that is traditionally the very definition of tragedy. However, he seems to lose his energy whenever he comes to one of those famous soliloquies and as a result the darker aspects of the character feel a bit blunted.

Overall, Hamlet is a production that doesn’t quite have the guts to realize its full potential, but the modern day setting and engaging cast make it a great introduction to one Shakespeare’s most famous plays.

Rhinoceros
East Renfrewshire Youth Theatre Thursday 18 February 2010
Review by Neil Campbell

Guy’s see what you can do! Now you all know yourselves what a brilliant performance you can put on if you put all that hard work in. You should all hold your heads up high after the performance! The story of rhinoceros may be a just a little strange, but subtextually it is brilliant. Loved the set, especially the little changes to show the different places, this just goes to show how set props can completely change the setting, especially for the audiences perception. Sound Design was very effective, and I liked the way the stage itself had also been painted! Lights were also extreamly well designed. Well done Emily for remembering all those lines! I think this is definitely an upcoming group to keep an eye out for in the future! Well done to all involved I think you should all give yourself a pat on the back!

The Nutcracker
Review by Neil Campbell

What a fabulous show, the technical accuracy of the lifts, and solo dances were very professional and shows just how much trust the dancers have in each other. Very well done! Would love to come and see another show should you come back again in Eastwood Park Theatre. You guys very much wowed me with the lifts, many of them i have recently applied in my own experiences of dance

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