Reviews

A Matter of Life and Death

I’ve got superlatives aplenty running around my head as I type. What follows may seem a little gushy, but I had a good time. Performances were great, the staging minimalistic but exciting and the pace was sharp and snappy, so gush I may just do. This play is a stage adaptation of the 1946 film, which starred David Niven as Peter Carter. It is a tale of two worlds: the one we know and the one we may well discover – all in good time. If you don’t know the film, Peter is meant to be in the other world
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Murder by Misadventure

As NFP are one of the New Forest’s leading amateur drama groups (now in their 88th year!), an entertaining night is always guaranteed when I am fortunate enough to be asked to review one of their shows and Murder by Misadventure did not disappoint. A fabulous mix of intrigue, tension, comedic moments and some wonderfully ‘quotable’ phrases resulted in a great whodunnit which kept everyone guessing till the very end. A quick synopsis will not give anything away. Scriptwriters Harry Kent (David Luker) and Paul Rigg (Alan Whitty) have won numerous awards, but while Harry has saved and invested his
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Love Story

For those of us of a certain age, Erich Segal’s novel remains an unforgettable part of our teenage years thanks to the 1970 film adaptation that made household names of Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal. Forty years later, the stage musical premiered at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, with book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, additional lyrics and (beautiful) music by Howard Goodall. I saw and enjoyed both, so went along to Boscombe’s Shelley Theatre intrigued to see how Theatre 2000 approached it. The answer is, with simplicity, intimacy and a lightness of touch, all serving the piece well. With no interval,
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Spider’s Web

Ah, the ‘Whodunnit’. A classic genre for fiction and for theatre. You settle down to an evening of theatre, anticipating a couple of hours or so of twists, turns, guessing games, lies and, if you’re lucky, something to chuckle at too. Mix that anticipation up with the fact that it is an Agatha Christie play and you feel that you are justified in your excitement. All that is left to satiate your expectation is the will of the performers and the staging. Phew! In the hands of RMDS, Agatha Christie’s Spider’s Web is safe. It is the tale of a
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Second Person Narrative

It is always a huge pleasure to go along to the opening production in the AUB’s autumn term, since it is the first opportunity to see that year’s graduating students making their debut public appearances before they join the wider world of professional theatre. These productions are always of a high standard, but I have rarely seen such a uniformly superb cast as I did on this occasion. The director’s note in the programme tells us that ‘The play shows a woman struggling to find her identity and purpose whilst striving against the feeling of being a “minor character” in
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Ladies’ Day

It is easy to see why Ladies’ Day is so popular with amateur dramatic societies. It has four strong parts for women, a good plot and some very funny lines. It also has some thought-provoking things to say about some of the fundamentals of life: families, growing old, class, what it is to be a woman, and love itself. It may be popular but that does not make it an easy play to bring off. This production most emphatically does bring it off. The four women already mentioned are fish-packers in Hull, who go to Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot
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