Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Frights and Your Ever Loving –#review Alphabetti Theatre Newcastle – 11/05/2016

The Frights and Your Ever Loving – Alphabetti Theatre Newcastle – 11/05/2016

So on the night that Newcastle United (>edit< Spikemike is a Sunderland fan) got relegated, most Geordies were feeling a bit MEH (Including Ali Pritchard the Director of Alphabetti and some of the actors and producers in both of the plays) I was feeling absolutely fantastic, but less about football and more about the theatre shows!!
The Frights was the first play in this double bill Written by Louise Taylor ad Directed by Ali Pritchard. It was an very interesting show, I had heard great things about it and was excited to finally see it. Hanny played by Christina Berriman Dawson is with her boyfriend played brilliantly by James Hedley, Hanny has been overseas as an aid worker and is still traumatised by her hostage captivity.
 We then meet two other characters played by Sally Collett and Jacob Anderton, these two Londoners are two peas in a pod and look fantastic on stage together, but add in Christina and James you get four people who bring this story to life and make this a thought provoking show and begs the question does giving money to large charities work??
I recently had this talk with my mother so I know that this is a debated topic by lots of people!!(Answers on a postcard).

The staging of these scenes is an unknown area/waiting room, you get to know a bit about them which was good James and Sally and Jacob also played the interrogators. The fantastic lighting changes (which altho I have only seen a few A.S productions, seems to be a favourable design tech.) help distinguish between these scenes and Christina's acting really draws you into the attacks and the sound effects mainly done by the casts themselves really grabs you in and draws you deeper into the story.
Hanny then decides to give the money that she had received for a press interview to the other couple, this helped me bring the realism home that some people are needing money in the UK, just as much/aswell as abroad.
But the show was a gripping show, it gripped me from the start to the end but the best was yet to come!!

After a 15 minute break we came back into the hall to see Your Ever Loving with items/objects splattered across the floor, with James Elmes pacing round the stage moving things about, I didn’t know whether to walk on the stage or not!! and the show hadn't even started.

Paul Hill played by County Armagh’s very own Stefan McCusker entered the fray, Now if you don't know who Paul Hill is don't worry these two guys will tell the story fantastically, Paul was a part of The Guildford 4  which also included Paddy Armstrong, Gerry Conlon and Carole Richardson, these guys spent 15 years behind bars for NOTHING !!!

Stefan tells the story through the words of Paul Hill with James Elmes playing everyone else

Currently the The terror alert in this country from Northern Ireland has just been raised which means that it is highly likely that an attack can happen.
In 1974 this happened and 2 bombs where set off in Guildford and I’m sure if you google it (I have) you will find out what the press had to say.
Stefan and James fantastically well as a team but the best performance has to go to James, his take off, of Margaret Thatcher and Douglas Hern and other well known people around that time was hilarious, but the thing that I will remember most about this play was the awkwardness of whether I should stand up or not when he says court will rise!! ( And you Rise!!! No arguments.)
James acted out his performance superbly, that included some brilliant verbal stabs and stares at the audience.
The ending was fantastic and made you realise how much Paul Hill suffered so that they could get a signed confession out of him.

But this is definitely a play that you don't and shouldn't want to miss.
Being a young man who is only a few younger than when Paul Hill left prison (I was 2 at the time) I feel that this shouldn't of happened, but in this day and age, when the police/Government are bonded together so tightly, Miscarriages of Justice (Hillsborough etc etc) are still coming to light..
Paul Hill spent 15 years of his life in prison for a crime he didn't commit and didn't see his new born daughter for all of this period, I would hope that if these bombing atrocities happen again that the police won’t try and pin on innocent men and that miscarriages of justices will be a thing of past in years to come.

Written by Martin McNamara and Directed by Jamie Eastlake

The Frights is on until  Saturday 21st of May (except Sunday)
Your Ever Loving is on until Saturday 14th of May

Reuben Hiles

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