Monday, 11 December 2017

"Death Of The Author"
Nottingham New Theatre.
This derived piece of comedy theatre is an interesting piece. The play starts at a funeral with the coffin on show and four characters sitting and a strange creature on the floor, The Jabberwocky.
We discover that the four people, two men and two women, just happen to be Elizabeth Bennet, Dr John Watson, Lady MacBeth and Dorian Gray, all mourning the death of the author, but which author, or is this play mourning the death of the classic author; there are several conclusions you could come to.
Through a series of imagined monologues which flow into other characters' speeches we can possible see what the scene could have been like if they had all been around in person at the same time. And what fun that would have been if this story was anything to go by.
Emily Wong (The Jabberwocky) gives a wonderful off the wall performance as the Lewis Carroll character.Brilliant make up for Emily by Nat Henderson.
Eleanor Rickenbach (Lizzy) makes her debut for NNT, something you wouldn't be able to tell from this performance. Changing from a sensible person into a giggling girl as soon as she meets handsome Dorian Gray who she gets a crush on.
Charlie Basley (Watson), while quite taken by Lizzy, is the object of a crush himself from Dorian. The normally quite sensible Watson erupts into an excitable state as he tries to solve the mystery of who killed the author.
Having recently seen Francis Simmons as the abusive Billy in the excellent "Five Kinds Of Silence", this role is completely different as the young and lusting, hedonistic Gray, he shows his comedic side.
Beth Carter (Lady MacBeth) is wonderfully bossy as the Shakespearean Queen. Wonderfully toffee-nosed and regal.
Directed by Daniel McVey (shadowed by Rosa Morgan) and produced by Florence Bell, this is what I love so much about the productions at NNT. They are fresh, in this case funny, dull of new ideas for theatre.There's nowhere else in Nottingham, as far as I know that is as productive and eager to take risks with what they do like NNT. You can never guarantee a risk being a success but when the devised plays are as good as this, the risk is well worth taking.
One aspect of this show that i especially loved was the insertion of the music sound bites which added so much comedy to the production. A well deserved nod to Sound Designer Yasmin Dankwah.
This group must have had such fun putting this play together because the audience had great fun watching this play, which, as I've said several times during this season, could have run for more than the two nights. It just goes to prove the old theatrical adage to be true, "always leave them wanting more" because this was 75 minutes of unadulterated fun.

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