Reviews

Christmas concert

Arriving early in the hope of a space in the car park at the back of the church, I was intrigued to see that there appeared to be an exercise class going on in the rear hall, but strangely, it seemed that everyone was in evening wear. Closer inspection revealed the truth: musical director Ivy Tan is clearly not content with simply a few pre-concert vocal gymnastics for her performers but has them bending and stretching too – and very energetically at that. It certainly paid off in the way everyone marched smartly to their seats, standing and sitting as
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The Real Inspector Hound & Black Comedy

Surely it is easier to write a one-act play than a full-length piece? On the contrary: to tell a story well in one act, let alone to convey any sort of message behind that story, you need tautness in both writing and thought. BLTC are offering a double bill of comedies by masters of the genre, and the similarities and differences between the two are fascinating. First up is The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. Two theatre critics are watching a traditional Agatha Christie-type thriller set (of course) in a remote manor house cut off by the weather. At
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Upton Priory

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow, and if the commitment of the cast in the first production by False Perspective is anything to go by, this tiny seedling certainly deserves to develop into a majestic tree. Upton Priory is home-grown, with a script written by Nikki Wilson. In case we didn’t get the titular pun, it opened with the theme music from Downton Abbey, and reflected many of the characters in the latter; for example, Karen Ward channelled her inner Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Southbourne, while the daughters of the house, charmingly played by Amey Dawe and
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Edward II

As usual, this is a collaborative performance from a group of third-year students from the BA Acting, BA Costume and Performance Design and BA Make Up for Media and Performance courses at the Arts University. This is the last of the four group productions this term; in the others there has been plenty of action and movement, some brilliant set design and some exquisite work from the costume students. Now with this Christopher Marlowe classic, ‘highly edited’ into one 90-minute act, the emphasis is predominantly on the text, the demanding, lyrical and sometimes poetic text which has stood the test
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A Concert of Christmas Songs and Carols

‘Viva voce’ is commonly used in English to mean an oral as against a written test: appropriate, because this event was a test for the new choir called Viva Voce, being their first major public appearance and their first Christmas concert. The director of Viva Voce, Jean Chambers, ran the Poole & Parkstone Singers for years, leaving because she had, in her own words, ‘decided to form her own choir before she became too old!’ It was neither a secret nor a surprise that a considerable proportion of those who had sung under her direction wanted to move with her.
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Our House

I’ve heard a lot about Our House and know and enjoy the music of Madness, but this is the first time that I’ve seen this musical and wasn’t sure what to expect. I needn’t have had any concerns, as this is a delightful treat to brighten up any damp and dreary December evening. Joe Casey, a 16-year-old boy, makes a somewhat dubious decision to break into a new building development in an attempt to impress his dream girl, Sarah; however, the police are hot on his trail. The story then splits into a Sliding Doors-type concept, where in one version
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