Tag Archives: Theatre Review

Truth, what is truth?

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REVIEW

George Orwell’s 1984 , adapted by Robert Icke & Duncan Macmillan, is currently playing at the Comedy Theatre.

‘You don’t have to be an expert to know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year.”

Unwriting people, removing words, controlling thoughts was Orwell’s dismal view of the future. The play explores the tragic demise of the human spirit with brutal clarity.

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Tom Conroy as Winston

Winston played by Tom Conroy, is man of fear that falls prey to the Party machinery by daring to hope. His Partner in crime, the fierce and splendid Julia (Ursula Mills) is a vision that bursts into his life to set it ablaze for a brief moment.

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O’Brien (Terrence Crawford) Winston (Tom Conroy) & Julia (Ursula Mills)

The wooden interiors and costumes seem reminiscent of the 50’s when the book was written, a generation looking through the keyhole of the condition of the world in 1984. There are no clumsy cream PC’s or the continuous screening of the Iran- Iraq war that dominated our tv’s, in the 80’s. In its essence, the rich nostalgic settings creates a longing for something personal and contrasts the horror of The Ministry of Love.

The acting,direction and effects are flawless. Fiona Press as Mrs Parsons is formidable, by merely stirring a caldron, she captivates a mood that seeps onto the stage.

The Lighting (Natasha Chivers), Sound (Tom Gibbons) and Video Designer (Tim Reid) are major players in the production and carry the full power and might of Big Brother. It’s a beautifully crafted masterpiece, the sets have amazing attention to detail and border on the sublime.

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Paul Blackwell , Terence Crawford & Tom Conroy

Audience response:

“Nothing is believable, everything is manipulated, it’s unfortunate for humanity”

Do you think the play has any relevance to you? MP

“Which agencies are believable and which aren’t , its awful and in the end all you have is your own soul and that’s ripped apart as well.”

So what did you think about the play?

“It’s done amazingly well , there is nothing held back”

Would you recommend it?

“Very much , I want the world to see it”.

Some audience members had to leave midway in the final act, it is confronting.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY SHANE REID

 

 

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The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black is a psychological thriller with a mystery at the heart of it. It takes the audience on an imaginative tour, where their own thoughts interplay with the drama before them.

“they saw things that didn’t happen in the show” Justin Stephens, Director.

Stephens is drawing upon 25 years of theatre experience to present this production with two key actors, Chris McLean and Kieran Tracey, that are ‘on top of their game.’The Woman in Black” is a horror novella written in 1983 by Susan Hill. The play has startled audiences around the world.

Don’t expect to be spoon-fed, its a subtle work with confounding possibilities. Flawless acting, clever direction and trick lighting; engage the minds of the playgoer. The ‘not seeing’ creates the atmospheric conditions of strangeness.

“Creating a vision of actors on a journey” Stephens.

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Ironically, Stephen’s acting career began in an effort to combat an early speech problem. Many successful artists have grown from adversity into major success stories;such as Warhol,Beethoven, Einstein and Dali, just to name a few.

“The power of theatre and how it can transform” Stephens

The drama explores tragedy, the coping and non-coping elements, of the human experience. All those memories that haunt and prevent us from a full recovery, are confronted in a dire straits situation, where he/we must face our fears.

“Even the most rational minds can play tricks in the dark” from James Watkins 2012 film version.

The Review

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A menacing and sinister fog welcomes the audience into a Gothic drama that explores the space between life and death.  It’s a well written play,  beautifully executed by the actors with atmospheric effects that conjure an unsettling mood. There is a lavish opulence of poetry and theatrics in thick layers. It is theatre at its best, it is a work of Art.