Review – ‘The Comedy of Errors’ – Exeter Northcott Theatre Graduate Company

This review by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 25 July 2017.

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Presented by Exeter Northcott Theatre
Saturday 22 July 2017, Rougemont Gardens, Exeter

Performed by: Martin Bassindale, Katriona Brown, Ella Dunlop, Grace Hussey-Burd, Lucy May Rothwell, Jennifer Ruth-Adams, Tanwyn Smith Meek, Alex York
Directed by: Poppy Burton Morgan

“Is this a twin one? Is it the double twin one? Is it one with a shipwreck?”

There’s not a lot to the story of The Comedy of Errors. As we munch through our picnic on a chilly Saturday evening in Exeter’s Rougemont Gardens, one of my friends describes it as a ‘two line plot’. Two sets of twins – the brothers Antipholus and their servants, the brothers Dromio – get mistaken for each other, as can often happen when you give both of your twin sons the same name. Comedy and mayhem ensue, reunion scene at the end. A standard but smart choice for an open-air show, since there’s very little fear that the audience won’t be able to keep up if they’re distracted by rain/other members of the public/aforementioned picnics. You can throw literally anything at The Comedy of Errors – fire spinning, beam walking, knife throwing – the whole circus.

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Review – ‘Give Me Your Skin’ – Oonagh Murphy and Tom Ross-Williams

This review by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 30 June 2017.

GIVE ME YOUR SKIN
Written and performed by Oonagh Murphy and Tom Ross-Williams
Also performed by Kieton Brown-Saunders
Dramaturg: Lucy Wray

My partner and I talked about Give Me Your Skin for a solid hour after we left The Boat Shed, which in itself should qualify Tom Ross-Williams and Oonagh Murphy’s engagingly rebellious show as a success. The show covers an immense amount of ground in a short space of time; every angle you turn it, something glittery and new is revealed. This is a shotgun approach to smashing the patriarchy, a broad scattering of gameshow-style contests, personal anecdotes, musical theatre, conspiracy theories, manifestos, confessions, and arguments.

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13 Reasons Why: A Conversation with Emily Holyoake

My sister, Jessica, and I had a sit down recently to chat through all of our various ~feelings about 13 Reasons Why. Original post below on Jess’s blog, Lovely Little Lighthouse.

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Lovely Little Lighthouse

It seems like this has been a long time coming, my sister and I have had numerous conversations about 13 Reasons Why, so we thought we would sit down and record one of our discussions. Spoiler alert: we’re not huge fans.

Why did you watch 13 Reasons Why?

Jess: I’m just obsessed with Netflix, to be honest, and everyone was banging on about it.

Emily: This wasn’t one where people started saying ‘you have to watch this’ and I resisted it, because I usually do – I still haven’t watched Stranger Things, it took me about three years to watch House of Cards. But for some reason, 13 Reasons Why looked like it would be my sort of thing. And I think as well, I saw a lot of people saying ‘it’s so important’, ‘everyone must watch this’, and it looked like it had some sort of…

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Review – ‘The North! The North!’ – Chris Harrisson

This piece by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 9 May 2017.

THE NORTH! THE NORTH!
Written and performed by Chris Harrisson
Saturday 6 May 2017, The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter

Chris Harrisson describes The North! The North! as ‘Extra-Live’, and in the aftermath I’m still getting to grips with what this means. He writes that extra-live is a continuation of the thought process behind staging relaxed performances, which are designed to be accessible to everyone. But although it’s definitely accessible, ‘relaxed’ isn’t the right word to describe the experience of watching The North! The North! – it feels anything but safe.

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Review – ‘All The Little Lights’ – Fifth Word

This piece by Emily Holyoake was originally published at The F-Word on 3 May 2017.

ALL THE LITTLE LIGHTS by Jane Upton
Presented by Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse
Saturday 22 April 2017, Theatre Royal Plymouth

Performed by: Esther-Grace Button, Sarah Hoare, Tessie Orange-Turner
Directed by: Laura Ford

It is a relatively quiet final night of Fifth Word and Nottingham Playhouse’s All The Little Lights tour. The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth’s black box space, is just over half full and there is an atmosphere of caution among the audience. Jane Upton’s play about “young lives lived under the radar” is brightly, brilliantly funny in parts. But it’s very easy to laugh a split-second too late. This is a birthday party on a knife-edge.

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Review – ‘The Taming of a Shrew – Genderswapped!’ – Exeter Barnfield Theatre

THE TAMING OF A SHREW – GENDERSWAPPED!
20 – 21 March 8.00pm, Exeter Barnfield Theatre

Performed by: Keith Braid, Sasha van Diepen, Theresa Dunthorne, Meg Gray, Dominic James, Natalie Keffler, Richard Knox, Hannah Rosa Minshall, Sally Naylor, Grace Rider, Alex Rowntree, Tabi Scott, Loren Smith
Directed by: Dinah Marti


Having had no previous exposure to this infamously troubling Shakespeare play (barring an inevitable teenage viewing of ‘10 Things I Hate About You’), Dinah Marti’s ‘The Taming of a Shrew – Genderswapped!’ comes as a refreshing introduction to a comedy which is ordinarily mired in misogyny.

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Review – ‘Beyond My Control’ – Exeter Northcott Theatre/University of Exeter

BEYOND MY CONTROL
Exeter Northcott Theatre in association with the University of Exeter
Thursday 9 March 7.00pm, Exeter Northcott Theatre

Performed by: Steve Bennett, Hannah Brooks, Stuart Cottrell, Sally Geake, Ben Gilbert
Directed by: Paul Jepson and Professor John Terry
Dramaturg: Stuart Cottrell


Can performance be used to illustrate mathematical models of epilepsy? Interactive piece ‘Beyond My Control’ makes theoretical research accessible to a mainstream audience, whilst also providing a meaningful reflection on lived experiences of epilepsy. It’s a carefully positioned, funny, and engaging show which is a resounding success in almost every respect, and marks a fascinating start to the collaboration between Exeter Northcott Theatre and academics at the University of Exeter.

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