Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Clockwork Orange - Review- People's Theatre

Time for another guest reviewer...
Jadefia (she doesn't have a second name, I think she is like one of them foreign footballers ha ha) is a good mate, who shares with me a good sense of humour, music and the love of the theatre.
We met when we collaborated on a first-timers internet video making session, we had a great deal of fun putting this Injury Helpline  spoof together.
Jadefia stepped into the breach when I couldn't make it along to The People's Theatre for this production.
I hope you enjoy her style of writing, I think she will be contributing to 'Spikemike...' a lot in the future.

Anthony Burgess's 'A Clockwork Orange'
The People's Theatre 
17th of May 2011.

Opening night at 'A Clockwork Orange'. I bet there were a few sweaty palms back stage nervously awaiting curtain up. I'm here to see The People's Theatre's depiction of this tale, fuelled with rebellion, music, gangs, violence and rape. I am intrigued to see how they portray the violence and rape scenes in a way that is theatre friendly given how graphic both the film and book were. Thankfully I later find out, that they do this great justice and manage to insinuate the 'rape scene' without making the audience feel uncomfortable and the fight scenes were nicely choreographed.
The story centres around, the tyrannical Alex and his gang and their belief that life is about "ultra-violence and raping women". The first part of the story introduces us to Alex's life as a teenage sociopath and juvenile delinquent. The story then takes an interesting turn when Alex is sentenced to prison for murder and is subjected to a reconditioning therapy with an interesting outcome. I don't want to give the plot away for anyone just discovering 'A Clockwork Orange' for the first time, but it is a dark tale that ends with the audience asking what will Alex do now?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, I think I'll start with the one negative thing I have to say about The People's Theatre's adaptation of the infamous Anthony Burgess piece. As I often find it's best to get the negative out the way first. I say it's a 'negative' but it certainly wasn't bad enough to affect the overall performance. My only real criticism being that the production was quite a short number. The first half was probably only about half an hour and seemed like it came to an unexpected ending. All of a sudden the lights were coming on; my eyes were burning from the unexpected luminosity beaming from above and I was left feeling a little disgruntled by the fact I was really just starting to get in to the motion of the performance and then BAM! A big, great light was interfering with my little moment of delightful entertainment. But that said, the fluidity of the rest of the performance seemed to really hit the spot! We returned from the interval to a second half jam packed with great performances from many of the lead cast and a titillating array of stage affects, more tremendous stage fighting and the attention to detail was more than impressive for an 'am dram' production. I felt a lot of the scenes were made intensely more emotive by the lighting, quite often you see an am dram production and they have some 'bonny lights' and it's pretty bog standard but with this performance you could clearly define a change in scenery via the light changes. Some very interesting effects used and a good performance by 'Mr Light Man' (or woman). I know that's something that is generally over-looked but I feel the effort with the lighting as well as the scenery was definitely worth a mention - excellent effort!

The star of the show was definitely our male lead, David Robson. David plays the character of 'Alex' and his performance shone through as a fine specimen of a young male lead; offering us a very convincing portrayal of the character with great intensity. I also take my hat off to anyone who is willing to bare their naked body in the name of 'art'. A gutsy, well rounded performance from David. Well done!

Overall, A Clockwork Orange was a great performance. The theatre staff were very friendly and welcoming and added to the whole experience. If I have to give it a star rating out of 5, I think I'd give this a well deserved 4.5 out of 5 and I urge you to go and see it for yourself! Well worth a gander!

Plays until Saturday 21 May


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