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The Boss of it All starring Josie Lawrence

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 20th Sep 2020

Soho Theatre on a Friday night would have usually been thriving with Theatre goers and tourists milling about outside. Instead, I watched their latest online production broadcast via the zoom platform The Boss of it All starring the extremely talented comedian and actress Josie Lawrence from the comfort of my own home. While the actors were in the comfort of theirs.
The Boss of it All has been based on the 2006 film of the same title by Lars Von Trier. Writer/director Jack McNamara’s clever play ridicules those who believe they are in charge while failing miserably and manipulating others in an attempt to cover up their own failings and inability to manage anything.

The zoom production watches Josie Lawrence as the actress Kristina who has been hired to pretend to be the new boss of a group of managers. She bumbles her way through the appraisals where we see each of them attempting to make it up as they go along. It was lost on me what any of them would actually be capable of managing.

Ross Armstrong as the questionable manager Ravn turns out to have been masquerading as one of the team for years to avoid being in charge. He appears at times to be incompetent yet the way in which he has set up Lawrence’s character to oversee the unwelcome measures he is imposing are cold and calculated firmly placing himself in charge. Definitely not someone anyone would trust and you can’t help but question what he has actually done in all this time while working for the company.

It took me a while to be accepted into the production which left me wondering if this was part of the performance. During the streaming, at times the screen went blank which I guessed was all part and parcel of the atmospheric setup. Instead of being frustrated by the technology failure it just added to my enjoyment. Art imitating life sprang to mind.

The convenience of online Theatre has a lot of plus sides to it yet in all honesty as a reviewer I miss the adrenaline rush of watching live Theatre. However, this particular production has been brilliantly directed and works perfectly in the popular zoom meeting format. Allowing the audience to suspend their disbelief in order to imagine that all the managers were located around the globe. Aimlessly appearing to be managing absolutely nothing at all.

Sadly this online show has an extremely short window and I am hoping they make it available to watch after the run is over. As each night the show hosts a new guest appearance, Friday’s performance was the cabaret artist Le Gateau Chocolat. As it stars the queen of improv Josie Lawrence I can not imagine that each night will follow exactly the same script.

For more information on this production and other things being shown at the Soho Theatre check out the link below.

https://sohotheatre.com/shows/the-boss-of-it-all/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com/

 

Posted on 21/09/2020

 

After The Turn: The Mystery of Bly Manor by Nine Knocks Theatre

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 17th Aug 2020

Edinburgh Fringe venue The Space has created a range of online productions that are available between 8th-30th August 2020 during the time in which the Festival would have been taking place. With lockdown taking its toll on the entire Arts and Theatre industry many productions have created online performances.

One of the productions available is After the Turn: The Mystery of Bly Manor which has been written and directed by George Cooper and Ellie Hardwick the writing duo have set their piece five years on from Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw.

The television-style documentary production uses interviews from friends and family to piece together the events leading up to the mysterious tragedy surrounding Theodora (Eilidh Gibson). The main focus in presenting the evidence takes the form of video diary entries which she had left behind. These are sensitively presented by her dear friend Marcus Bryson (Brian Weldich).

Theodora Hill was hired as the governess for the two Bly children Miles and Flora while in residence at Bly Manor. The excitement and enthusiasm in accepting her new role are short-lived as a stranger appears unsettling her and causing immense anxiety. The dark and eerie mystery surrounding Bly Manor soon begins to unfold before her.

The gripping short ghost story created by James in 1898 has been captured in this modernised version. The cast brilliantly succeeded in creating the horror and dread first bought to life through the original novella.

It’s extremely tempting with a production of this calibre to write an in-depth review explaining everything that they have achieved. However, I don’t want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the chilling performances. Therefore, I would strongly urge you to take the time to watch it while it’s available online.

As creatives have begun to produce work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is one of the exceptional examples available until August 30th. Nine Knocks Theatre company have shown the wealth of talented actors in their company along with their ability to create a powerful and atmospheric performance without actually being on the same stage.

Four Stars.

https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/1559266-the-turn-of-the-screw/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com/

 

Posted on 11/09/2020

 

Stranded by Marcia Kelson

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 17th Aug 2020

Stranded by Marcia Kelson began on August 15th which is the second production I have watched by Kelson as part of Online@The SpaceUK fringe. The first one “The Plague Thing” was part of the first group of productions released on August 8th. Which I would highly recommend watching.

After nine months of travelling abroad without so much as a “hello” Mum (Lesley Ann Jones) finally has a phone call from her daughter Sarah (Caroline Salter). The video call sees Mum at the kitchen table while talking to her Daughter who is sunning herself in Peru.

Following a brief geography lesson from Sarah explaining where and why the country’s she has travelled to, Mum becomes exasperated with her. Sarah’s irresponsible behaviour about taking a “scenic tour of South America” while the world is in the middle of a pandemic is brushed off and Mum realises that the catch-up phone call is actually just a request for money.

However, Mum has a life-changing revelation of her own and Sarah doesn’t find her parents to be in quite the same situation that they were before she first left. The humour scattered in this nine-minute production is recognisable to many parents with older children who seem to forget that they are now responsible for themselves.

Stranded is available until 30th August at Online@The SpaceUK which is part of the Edinburgh Fringe online catalogue of productions available in the absence of the 2020 Festival. Links to this production and The Space are available below.

https://online.thespaceuk.com/watch-shows/theatre

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com/

 

Posted on 18/08/2020

 

No Logo by Andy Mosley

Reviewed by: Elaine Chapman @elainec46302904

Review date: 17th Aug 2020

After the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe, where No Logo had been due to be performing at Underbelly Wee Coo throughout August. The company has released this short preview piece. Staring First Fringe winner Moj Taylor this short preview piece written by Andy Mosley allows the audience a taster into what they can expect in the full performance.

The backstage area of a theatre can be a lonely place once the lights from the stage are switched off. During the transition between the character returning into the actor there begins a time of reflection as Christopher begins to remove Lady Christina’s makeup and he returns to reality.

Upon looking in the mirror the father that once abandoned Christopher is starting to look back at him. As the removal of the stage makes up begins he engages in conversation with his absent father in an honest and unfiltered dialogue exploring the feelings left behind after bringing shame to the family for the Crime of being “gay.” However, as the conversation unfolds we discover who really had bought shame on the family?

Dealing with our demons thrust upon as children they can leave deep marked scars that were never our predetermined values or ideals yet those told to us until we eventually believe them. The battle between nature and nurture often rumbles beneath the surface in all families. Leaving a trail of unsaid conversations, confusion and hurt behind.

Director Bethany Blake creates an extremely atmospheric setting in which Taylor delivers a moving and heartfelt performance. Personally, I am really looking forward to seeing the completed production.

Please check out No Logo using the online link below and judge for yourself. Subject to COVID-19 rules being changed it’s also scheduled to appear at Brighton Fringe in October 2020. For more information follow the No Logo productions link underneath.

https://www.nologoproductions.com/makeupmovie.html

https://www.nologoproductions.com/

See the full review here theatreandartreviews.wordpress.com/

 

Posted on 17/08/2020

 




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