Tuesday, 26 September 2017

“Escape For Dummies/ Wrecked” by Nottingham New Theatre
Djanogly Theatre, Lakeside.
A double bill from the talented and award winning Nottingham New Theatre in this Edinburgh Festival special.
“Wrecked” is a devised work directed by Chris Trueman and produced by Amy Crighton; two students who’s work I’ve seen and really rated in the past.
The writing is stylised and reminds me of the likes of Oscar Wilde with the writing's rhythm and approach. like Wilde's work, it's also very funny. The language has an old feel but there's a lot of modern comedy flashes of inspiration, often breaking the fourth wall with a cheeky glance or a wink in this piratical romp.
A talented cast who, on a couple of occasions had rise to think on their feet, or was that a well executed part of the script as well?
Chris Trueman stepped into the breach as Maggie, replacing Maddy Strauss, who was unwell.
Emma Whitewas magnifique with her accent Francais, which could have gone over le top, but was quite restrained, which made it all the more funny.
Callum Walker was James, the Londoner with the rather posh accent who was washed up on the shore who found love in a rather unexpected place!
Felicity Chilver was an almost panto style Anne who, for some unexplained reason had a full beard, making this comedy even more off the wall. Silly but great fun.
Andrew Houghton pulled off (ahem) a rather camp Billy. Again, there could have been the urge to portray Billy as an over the top camp character, but he wasn't, which made Billy a lovely character instead of a caricature.
Miguel Barrulas was Henry. Completing a perfect cast with some more restrained comedy.
The second performance is “Escape For Dummies”, created and directed by and Laurence CuthbertJosh Mallalieu and produced by Joanne Blunt; three students who I’ve had the pleasure of seeing their work over the last few years and loving what I've seen.
This comedy is of a very different kind. Whereas "Wrecked" script was funny, this comedy had no words, well none that were recognisable. Think back to the silent movie comedies or even "The Plank" or "Roobarb" and that's the comedy here. A complete contrast.
There's brilliant physicality in the comedy and the timing is spot on. Set in a department store where two mannequins come alive and plot an escape, with hilarious characters and situations.
The female mannequin is played by Emma Pallett, with her male counterpart played by Sam Morris. Wonderfully funny characterisation from both. in fact all the actors have got under the comedy skin of the various characters they play, and it's that physical comedy that really makes this play the success that it is.
Jack EllisGeorge Waring and Kate O'Gorman play all of the various other characters. From Jack's Dolly Parton obsessed character, to Kate's scaredy cat security guard and George's crazy store manager and his wonderful portrayal of a pensioner shopping with his wife for saucy underwear.
Very very funny. Brilliantly acted and a brilliantly novel script, and when there is no script as such, just noises, bringing out that comedy through physical theatre makes this comedy all the more special.
I've always been proud to spread the word about the New Theatre and this double bill just goes to show how good this theatre group are and the talent they all have as well as enhancing my love for new writing and The New Theatre.
An excellent night of comedy which also is raising money for the University of Nottingham's Life Cycle 7 Charity.
This double bill is only on for two nights, Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 September 2017, so make sure you don't miss out if at all possible

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