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David J

Member Since 07 Dec 2010
Online Last Active Today, 08:50 AM

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A Number (Nuffield Theatre)

20 February 2014 - 09:29 PM

This is going to be a short lived topic because this is ending this Saturday, but if you can I would recommend you go and see A Number at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. Michael Longhurst and Tom Scutt have done wonders here.

I knew that this was being staged in the round. When we got there however we were all separated into four groups, and were led into these small rooms with these blinds on one of the walls. When the play started the blinds were pulled back to show a reflection of us (clones?) in a mirror.

The mirror though was a one-way mirror, and a few seconds later we were watching the play through this observation mirror/window. It was all boxed in this small square room with three other mirrors, through which the rest of the audience were. It was like the space was part cell, with the actors multiplied in the mirrors (further clones?), part observation/interrogation room.

The play was so absorbing. Not only did the production addressed cloning, but within this space it forced us to observe the different clones, not from appearance but from personality, views e.g.

It's funny because we went along with a friend, and she was telling me that she had recently taken her granddaughter to see a play. She remarked how her granddaughter told her that it's not entirely easy to get into the character's head and see everything from their point of view. What a coincidence it was that this production was addressing something along those lines.

It was a excellent idea to cast an actual father and son in the two roles, and John and Lex Shrapnel were simply brilliant. John played a father who is being torn apart for creating different clones of his son, all played by Lex.

The rooms we were in did look like the production team had put a bunch of plywood together. Still, Sam Hodges has certainly raised the bar high for the Nuffield Theatre.

We went to the post show talk, and Longhurst told us how he and Scott had a system where any ideas they come up with they go with without question. This was still a challenge for them, and Longhurst recounted how his direction was reduced to speaking into a microphone and poking his head through a hatch. The Shrapnels remarked how they found it strange to be bowing to themselves at curtain call!

For a 55 minute play at £15 this is worth every penny. After seeing this I cant wait to see what the rest of the Nuffield season would bring!

All's Well That Ends Well

16 July 2013 - 03:53 PM

Anybody seeing this in the coming week? I will be seeing it next Wednesday so I will report back.

Looking forward to seeing Alex Waldmann as Bertram. He is definitely on a roll this season. Don't know what to expect from Jonathan Slinger as Parolles.

According to Facebook it looks as if the RST company are continuing their use of the sprinklers:

"The All's Well cast are escaping the hot weather during Technical Rehearsals with pouring rain on-stage."


08 July 2013 - 01:15 PM

After the nightmare I experienced during Chichester's Heartbreak House last year this production of Candida is a vast improvement.

With well-rounded characters and a story I could understand, the first act shows that George Bernard Shaw can write a good play. Yet he could not help himself and turned the second act into a lecture on Candida's decision, which felt like a foregone conclusion.

There were however some excellent performances from the cast, including Jamie Parker, Charity Wakefield, Frank Dillane, Jo Herbert and David Troughton's understudy, Christopher Godwin.

High Matinee

Full review: http://shallicompare...ida-review.html

The Misanthrope

22 April 2013 - 03:01 PM

I remember enjoying The Hypochondriac immensely and having seen The Misanthrope I think this is a fantastic production. Roger McGough has once again written a witty adaptation of Moliere's play by varying the verse forms and having some fun with the rhymes. Moreover this play is performed by a marvelous cast, particularly Colin Tierney as Alceste and Zara Tempest-Walters as Celimene.

I recommend this at a Full Price!