Feature | Bringing Characters to Life


by Laura Kressly

Passion Fruit is very much Dior Clarke’s story, but it’s not a solo performance. Though the first rehearsal I observed consisted of the director Melina Namdar solely working with Clarke, the second included actor Hayden Mampasi, who takes on a varied collection of supporting characters. In this rehearsal, director Melina Namdar uses a range of exercises to develop Mampasi’s characterisations and ensure the people he plays are distinct from each other. It’s an intense day full of work on the details that bring characters to life on stage, showcases Namdar’s expansive director toolkit, and the techniques that actors use to bring characters to life.

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Book Review | Hamilton and Me

Olivier Winner Giles Terera to Publish Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal  in 2021 | Playbill

by Michaela Clement-Hayes

Audience members don’t always appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a West End or Broadway performance. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work. The months spent learning lines, choreography and music, lengthy rehearsals, techs and previews are only a small part of it.

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Connie Wookey: Denied, VAULT Festival

Image result for connie wookie, vault festival

by Steph J. Watkins

Connie Wookey: Denied is just one of the musically comedic, one-woman-shows on offer this year at VAULT Festival, and it certainly packs a punch. Wookey tells us of her times in America, travelling in Canada and contemplating life in what could have been her last moments on earth. We follow her various experiences as a struggling actor, told through fabulously-written parodies to popular songs and quick-witted humour.

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Feature | Favourite Theatre Moments of 2019

Image result for my favourite things julie andrews

by Laura Kressly

Determining a Top 10 has become increasingly troublesome what with the amount of work reviewed by guest critics and the even larger amount that we get invited to but aren’t able to see. So, rather than a more traditional ‘best-of’ list, here’s a totally subjective list of a few of my favourite things – in no particular order – from theatre and performance in 2019.

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You Having Olaf?, VAULT Festival


by guest critic Amy Toledano

A stage dressed with cardboard cut outs of Donald Trump, three members of One Direction and a children’s play house are just some of the elements that make up this monologue of a recovering children’s entertainer. Joseph Cullen, or put more plainly Joe, who enters the space in a complete Princess Leia outfit, introduces himself to us as exactly this, and then continues to surprise us from that moment on.

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Monster, Edinburgh Festival Fringe


I didn’t have any particular expectations from Joe Sellman-Leava’s new play on male violence. But I am joyfully surprised by an opening montage of rapidly-delivered Shakespeare, ranging from Othello to Taming of the Shrew. Disarmingly vicious in its delivery, this scene snaps into an audition for a play, then a house in Exeter, then the video research material for Joe’s character, and back again.

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Identity Crisis, Ovalhouse


Phina Oruche has had an extraordinary career. Growing up in Liverpool to Nigerian parents and desperately wanting to see more of the world, she let her best friend Amy talk her into doing a modelling photoshoot as a teenager. Soon she found herself living and working in London, then New York and LA. Eventually tiring of the high fashion world and feeling the pull of her home, she moved back to the UK where he career led her firmly into the film and telly world. Now a mum and conflicted about the cultural pushing and pulling on her life, she examines who she really is the self-penned Identity Crisis. The punchy tapestry of characters and experiences has messy and confusing moments and no clear resolution or story, but it’s brimming with heart and life.

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The Understudy, Canal Cafe Theatre


by guest critic Jo Trainor

“An actor who needs money? What a unique situation!”

A long lost Kafka play is having its premiere on Broadway. Two big Hollywood action stars are playing the leads, but the fickle nature of unseen Bruce means they’ve had to cast Harry as an understudy. Breaking the fourth wall to speak to the audience, Harry takes us through his first rehearsal with actor Jake and stage manager Roxanne.

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