Friday, June 14, 2024

Thursday Night Reviews: British Drama Festival

By Katrina Mager

New World Theater Company with the cast of “Jolly”

Based on an american family: It’s emotional issues related to the past upbringing of sister and brother.

Jolly was played by Christine Probst, Bobby played by Timothy Lone; Carl, Jolly’s husband played by Mathew Kovacs.

Author of this play is David Mamet. Directed by Erick Abbot.

From the start this play was very ‘high energy’ in its form, full of strong emotions relating to the story of brother; sister Jolly; Bobby and the difficult relationship that they had experienced with their parents as growing up.

It touched on the still apparent rawness of Jolly and Bobby’s feelings, but I felt that it was portrayed in a too fast ‘roller coaster’ fashion for it to feel convincing enough or magnetic viewing of the characters involved. One minute Jolly and Bobby were laughing and happy and the next shouting and swearing. There was no flow or build up to the change in emotions.

The american accents used in this play worked well (although I am sure one actor is actually american or just so very good at it). I felt that Jolly and Bobby’s characters dominated the play and I didn’t really see the point of having Carl there as his lines and input were very limited. I feel more lines should have been written for this character or not written in at all. Strong acting from Christine and Timothy, using the stage and props well.

Overall an ok play written and delivered, each actor gave it their all but I feel here in this case…less is sometimes more!

Gadoc the cast of “Life Lines”

This play portrayed the accidental crossed ‘telephone’ paths of Robert and Annie both going through difficult times in their relationships. Robert played by James Le Lacheau and Annie played by Stephanie Andrijasevic. Author of this play is Amy Rosenthal and directed by Caron Parker.

The play started off in an unusual but very workable manner of both Robert and Annie as still life characters present on the stage as everyone filled back into the theater. This was an interesting start here that had you drawn in from the beginning. Both actors had you very convinced from the word go, the acting was natural, believable and each line delivered with ease. Emotions were portrayed beautifully with the right amount of flow between emotions, body language and vocab.

Wonderful acting came from both James and Stephanie, they delivered the comic content with ease and seemed to make the audience laugh easily too! A well written play, good use of props and the space on the stage was taken advantage of smoothly.

St. Albans Players: “Cliffs Edge”

This play depicted the sensitive and almost ‘taboo’ subject of suicide, centered on a Cliffs Edge. Gary was played by Jonathan Williams, Cliff by Nick Molloy and Sue by Sarah Allen. Author of this play is Paul Beard and Directed by Peter Nance.

From the start this play had you ready and full of intrigue. Laughter was heard all around from the audience at many of the lines delivered and each character had a very strong stage presence. It was a sensitive topic of suicide but had been lifted wonderfully into a comical insight into the personalities of each character and their lives. They each had equal input into the play with both vocab and energy and this worked fantastically from start to finish.

The stage and actors were used to the fullest potential, and this shone in each scene. A well written and directed play with fantastic acting from all cast members, in particular Sarah Ellen and her comic portrayal of Sue and her multi dimensional personality!


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