Double Feature At The Paintframe
Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:16 PM
Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:47 PM
Posted 08 August 2011 - 03:50 PM
The Nightwatchman was a touch strange, I must admit - though a hard working actress made up for it. The problem was the story was so finely defined that it was hard to latch on to, you had to know the social background to really get into it (which I didn't, and hence couldn't).
There Is A War I really got into, there's a lot of stuff generally showing how screwed up the concept of war is where both sides are essentially one and the same. Tom Basden did a decent job at bringing his own creation of Martin/Neil to life. There were some strange moments, it didn't feel linked, though then again that may have been the point as Anne's journey really was not linked. Talking about Anne, she was portrayed thanks to a very strong performance from Phoebe Fox. Could not quite get why the ending was so, was it trying to say that people find themselves having to fight just to feel like they are doing something useful? While I guess, in some cases, that is true, there were probably better ways of presenting it than discovering Anne's goal of working in the hospital was flawed.
Edgar & Annabel was essentially Sam Holcroft getting off over a police state. The direction was stronger than the writing. I could sort of see what was going on but it was never really presented what caused the set-up, who on Earth were Edgar and Annabel to start with? Strong moments throughout though just lacked coherence or, dare I say it, a gripping plot.
Finally, The Swan, if anything it wins the award for being the most realistic of the lot. Pub closing down (at least in part due to the landlord finding broadband and the joys of porn), someone dies, let's have a party. Well, it is sort of realistic. Like them all, comedy flows, though in this one not due to the context but the language deployed at any given moment.
In summary - firmly admire the experiment, good pieces generally, there was a decent degree of logic in the two pairs being what they were but nothing beyond the staging was really pushed to the limit. You'll be sure of a decent evening watching good actors perform with either pairing, though be prepared for little afterthought. None of the plays leave you relishing in questions after (more because none were asked than none were answered).
There Is A War is the strongest, followed by The Swan and Edgar & Annabel being on par as the consistent pairing. The Nightwatchman unfortunately was out bowled very early on.
Posted 13 August 2011 - 10:42 PM
"There is A War" is of the Monty Python school of humour?
Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:02 AM
The Swan was easily the stronger of the two for me and came close to being excellent. Just missed hiting the spot by a whisker but still very good value.
Edgar and Annabel was a clever idea but for me the characters needed to be developed a bit more....I got the clever idea but wasn't overly moved by it .
However they are the sort of plays that you can be beautifully absorbed in and then chew over on the coach home, working out how you would have changed them (in your capacity as totally unproven world beating playwright!) to make them stunning! I liked the venue. It felt funky and like people had enjoyed creating it.
Well worth a visit.
Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:27 AM
Well worth a visit.
I'm seeing Double Feature 2 next week and I'm hoping my experience of the Paintframe will make the visit worthwhile, whatever I think of these two plays, which have had a more mixed reception than the two you saw.
Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:15 PM
Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:19 PM
Posted 21 August 2011 - 03:03 PM
Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:54 PM
Arriving early seems to be the thing to do at the National: there was the band at OM2G and the beautiful music and bell at Frankenstein, and London Road and Emperor & Galilean had someone on stage well before the start. I shall make sure I get there in good time for this (I have tickets for next week) - all these little things can add so much to the experience.
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