Review – ‘Dick Whittington’ – Exeter Northcott Theatre

This review by Emily Holyoake was originally published at Exeunt Magazine on 9 December 2017.

DICK WHITTINGTON by Tony Lidington and Steve Bennett
Produced by Exeter Northcott Theatre

Directed by: Tony Lidington
Performed by: Steve Bennett, Gordon Cooper, Emily Essery, Jeffrey Harmer, Jaz Franklin, Lotus Lowry, Martin Reeve, Owen Thomas, Annabel Warwick

During the interval of Exeter Northcott Theatre’s Dick Whittington, I realise the last pantomime I saw starred David Hasselhoff. The one before: John Barrowman. The one before that: also John Barrowman. (I will not apologise for still loving Torchwood. Fight me.)

But before that, the star of all my pantomime experiences was my grandad, Fred Comber, who wrote, directed, and played the baddie in every show, every year, in his small Devon village of Holcombe. These were the best pantomimes of my life and played a large part in making me believe theatre could be for everyone. And there’s something about Exeter Northcott Theatre’s Dick Whittington that brings that feeling back.

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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 – ‘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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