Saturday, February 22, 2014
Preview - The Wardrobe - People's Theatre
21st Feb 2014
The Wardrobe is a new play by Sam Holcroft, written for the National Theatre's Connections project - celebration of youth theatre which aims to commission new plays for and about young people.
Directed by Sean Burnside and Sarah McLane, the play rattles through 500 years of history, in just under an hour - so plenty to pack in! It was performed in intimacy of the Studio, which felt as snug as the inside of a wardrobe!
The wardrobe of the title is the setting for the entire play, and it provides and escape and a hiding place for various young people throughout its history, beginning in 1485 with Elizabeth and Cicely, two sisters who's lives are about to change forever and ending in 2014 with a girl struggling with the prejudices of modern life And in between we have all manner of religious differences, wars, murder, and disease, romance, frienships. Throughout all the wardrobe provides a refuge, but it is not always the safest place to be.
This is an interesting play exploring themes of prejudice, religion, politics and equality - themes that are very relevant to today's society. Although it sounds very sombre and serious, (and there are many tense moments) there is a great deal of humour throughout.
The young actors performed well, a few nerves present for some perhaps, but the very few stumbles over words were well recovered. Particular mention should go to Jessica Smith and Maeve Thorpe who I thought were excellent.
The Wardrobe plays for two nights only (21st and 22nd February) at The People's Theatre, but you can catch it again at the Northern Stage in April along with others from the Connections project.
A great effort by the Young People's Theatre.