As we enter the final weeks of the hugely successful and inaugural Liverpool Fringe Festival, Potentially Brilliant Theatre’s devised creation was a catalyst of intimate drama and hard-hitting facts of a problem that is now stretching to the farthest corners of the world.
The Zoo Story is Edward Albee’s first play, written in 1958. This one-act play, allegedly completed in just three weeks, concerns two characters, Peter (David Crosby), and Jerry (Stephen O’Toole) who meet in New York’s Central Park.
Italian playwright Dario Fo (1926 – 2016) remains one of the most frequently performed playwrights although much of his work proved controversial and subject to censorship or reprisals by the authorities at the time of its writing. His wife, Franca Rame (1954 – 2013), was a leading actress and assisted in the writing of many of the plays they produced following their co-founding in 1958 of the Dario Fo-Franca Rame Theatre Company in Milan, with Fo as the director and writer, and Rame the leading actress and administrator.
Burjesta Theatre Company took to the stage at their place of residence at The Casa Bar in Liverpool, where war was the subject of performance, and through the language of Shakespeare.
This one act, two-person musical tells the tale of a young New York couple, Jamie Wellerstein, an up and coming novelist (played by Graham Tudor) and the bubbly but struggling actress Catherine 'Cathy' Hiatt (played by Helen Noble). Its unique style is in the way that the character’s stories are told separately, the twist being that the stories are told in opposite ways to each other, with Wellerstein’s account told chronologically from the exciting start of their relationship through the bitter sweet rollercoaster of emotion to its conclusion, whilst Hiatt’s version of events begins at the end of their liaison to the budding optimism of new found love.
Alice in Wonderland is a story which most people know, with different theatre groups around the country putting on their own production throughout the years but now there's a new Wonderland show so the question is; why is there so much buzz about this one.
The picturesque wooded gardens of Prescot Parish Church re-imagine an enchanted island where all is not as it seems. Opening to the travails of a ship at sea, we then meet Prospero (Robert Clement-Evans) and his daughter Miranda (Lauren Brown), and learn how 12 years ago his brother, with assistance from Naples, had usurped him as Duke of Milan. Put to sea in a rotten boat, they washed up on a distant island inhabited only by the son of a witch, Caliban (David Kernick), and a spirit, Ariel (Connor Simkins).
Time and time again we see reinterpretations of The Bard’s most famous works and over the years the many rather than the few have tried and failed to convincingly portray the alternative interpretations that the set out to do. Despite this, it seems that the Everyman Theatre have hit it on something very special with Romeo and Juliet (or rather Romeo and Julius). Just like the 1966 Baz Luhrmann film, it has a modern twist with cigarette smoking hoodies clad with guns yet this production challenges our expectations even further with the portrayal of a homosexual relationship between Romeo and Julius; both of which are played exceptionally by George Caple and Elliott Kingsley.
Most people will relate The Wedding Singer with the 1988 romantic comedy film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, however it is now also recognised as a successful musical which started its journey at the Al Hirschfield Theatre on Broadway in 2006. Much like the film, it tells the story of Robbie Hart, a loveable wedding singer who has his heart broken by his fiancé and the complications that follow once a new romantic interest, Julia, catches his attention.
Only Bones is an award-winning new production by the international physical theatre company Kallo Collective and acclaimed production company Show Pony, which consists of a solo performance of multi-faceted physical buffoonery performed by London International Mime Festival performer Thomas Monckton and designed by Parisian school Lecoq LEM graduate Gemma Tweedie. Using body manipulation, circus and clowning, the stage is stripped down to one light and one performer, in a circle, opening up a world where anything is possible.
As we enter San Francisco (the main theatre space) with flowers literally in our hair, we engage freely with cast members before this ‘in-the-round’ clash of society and counter-culture commences its exchange of song, dance, and music to resonate the spirit of 1967’s ‘Summer of Love’.