Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Nottingham Lace Market Theatre

"The Zoo" and "Little Dolls" are the latest short plays to be performed in the bijou surroundings of the upstairs section of the Lace Market Theatre. The audience are almost within touching distance of the actors which makes it all the more difficult for the actors who can actually see the eyes of the audience and hear them breathing!

The Lace Market Theatre are renowned for producing plays of this sort, plays which are sometimes quite off the beaten track, but at times true gems such as these two plays.

"The Zoo" features two characters, Peter, an older man who works in the printing business relaxing on the park bench in Central Park one Sunday afternoon. An afternoon he will never forget for the rest of his life. He's happily married, two daughters, loving wife, two cats and two parakeets. Along comes Jerry a young man who really wants to have a conversation about, amongst other things, his visit to Central Park zoo. We find out all about his life, his love life, his lusty landlady and his landlady's dog, who Jerry tried to kill. Things then turn strange for the pair when they vie for possession of the park bench they are both sitting on, with drastic results for both of them.

A fascinating look at how the mind of a potential killer, who at first glance seems a regular guy, can U turn. Brilliant acting from both Guy Evans as Jerry and Richard Holmes as Peter and a fascinating piece of thought provoking theatre.

The second play is "Little Dolls" and this is dark in every sense of the word. Vicky is having therapy for an incident that happened when she was 11 years old, her therapist is John. They are sat in his office in the dark, because Vicky is now afraid of the dark, with a safety net lighter for when she becomes unable to take the dark any more. We hear of what she thinks she heard on the night that changed her life, but what really did happen and is there really a strange man following her around, and how did her 11 year old friend really die? So many questions that don't produce answers in this dark and increasingly sinister play which will literally have you on the edge of your seat.

The nervous and untrusting Vicky is played by Emma Hayes and the strangely mind controlling and quite scary therapist is played with great understatement by Matt Huntbach.

Both plays have a couple of things in common. The characters Jerry in "The Zoo" and Vicky in "Little Dolls" are both word weavers who are storytellers who will keep you hanging on to their every word. Simple sets keep you focused on the words and the characters. But not all the talent is on show because there's some sterling work done by the directors for both plays, Kareena Sims for "The Zoo" and Michael Darmola for "Little Dolls"

Both plays will leave you quite shocked and with plenty to talk, and think about when you leave the theatre. But don't hang around because they are only on until Saturday 3 May 2014

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