Clear White Light Live Theatre - World Premier 23rd October
|Joe Caffrey and Bryony Corrigan (Live Theatre)|
Bryony’s ability to convey angst and horror are incredibly impressive and Joe brings a well rounded characterisation to Rod. They both feel very believable. I have personal experience of being a patient in a mental health ward and I can say so much of this play rings true. The Gothic and spooky elements don’t convince me as much as the emotional intelligence of the characters. I can relate to both the experience of the patients and the realism of the nurses. We always wondered if some of the nurses belonged as patients more than we did at times, and this comes across in parts here as there are various meltdowns.
This play was written by Paul Sirett and he has done an excellent job with it. Charlie Hardwick of Emmerdale fame played Maddie (not sure if this was a play on words or not). She also did the majority of the singing in the play, which was great. The remaining cast were also in the band and consisted of Phil Adele (Aaron patient), Alice Blundell (Jo nurse), Dale Jewitt (Charlie), Billy Mitchell (Barry patient / Lindisfarne) and Ray Laidlaw (percussion / Lindisfarne).
I found both the musical element and the play enjoyable, however I am not convinced both elements belong together. A lot of the time the songs seem to have little relevance to that particular part of the play. I found the play element to be the stronger of the two. My friend remarked it was Lindisfarne’s version of Mama Mia.
This play is based on a cross between Edgar Alan Poe’s short story the Fall of the House of Usher and Alan Hull’s music based on his own experience working for the NHS.
Alan Hull had worked in St Nick’s hospital in Gosforth, which at the time inspired many of his songs, many which are used in this play. It’s kind of like a love letter to the NHS and stands very proudly behind the now seventy year old institution, at the end it conveys a very unsubtle message about the NHS, but one that many agree with. I would definitely recommend this, especially if you are fans of Lindisfarne, and don’t worry Fog on the Tyne and Gazza are nowhere in sight.
A solid 7/10.
Clear White Light it is running at Live until November 10.