NORMAL NESBITT & DICKENS' CHILDREN
The Kenwigs from NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Pip (James Dowson) and Magwitch (Guy Holmes) from GREAT EXPECTATIONS
The Waiter (Ken Eason) and David (James Dowson) from DAVID COPPERFIELD
Mrs Jellyby (Rosemary Eason) from BLEAK HOUSE
Squeers (Guy Holmes) and the 'boys' from NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Mrs Squeers (Rosemary Eason) from NICHOLAS NICKLEBY
Bawds at Michaelhouse,
Cambridge – July 2004
This was my first visit to Michaelhouse - what a neat acting space. It was also a space, which is challenging for both actors and audience alike. Being so very close to 'the action' was pretty inhibiting at times.
In Normal Nesbitt written by Nick Warburton, Suzie Turton gave us Rose, a teacher conducting a parents' evening of interviews. Suzie pulled us in to the action with her asides and we felt we really could see the parents to whom she spoke. Poor Alan Nesbitt, 'Normal's father, left us a broken man! This was a very clever piece of writing brought vividly to life by a talented actress.
We were then treated to a fine
piece of ensemble playing by seven actors (plus three chairs and a coat
rack) - Dickens' Children skilfully devised
and directed by the aforementioned Nick Warburton.
just over an hour our emotions were pounded. We were alternately amused,
sympathetic, surprised and scared witless by a succession of Dickens'
children and their tormentors, for that is what the adults were in the main. We
met Pip from GREAT EXPECTATIONS, the
Kenwigs and Smike from NICHOLAS
David from DAVID
Jellybys and Jo the crossing sweeper from BLEAK
rending performances from James Dowson
as Davey, Jo and Smike, truly evil performances by "The Monster"
Holmes (Magwitch and the vicious Squeers), amusing performances from
Eason as "The Outsider" (Barkis and the avaricious waiter etc.)
and fine upright performances by "The Champion"
Martin Woodruff (Allan Woodcourt, Nicholas Nickleby etc.).
Dickens ladies, like the majority of his characters, are finely drawn and
these were brought to life with great versatility by
Peroni as "The Eccentric" (Miss Havisham, Fanny Squeers etc.),
Eason as "The Mother" (Mrs Jellyby, Mrs Squeers etc.) and
Suzi Turton "The Precocious Child" (Estella, Morleena,
technical facilities at Michaelhouse are what one might call 'basic', but
Richard Peroni managed to create a good atmospheric effect with a minimal
amount of lighting. Bawds
presented us with two fine pieces of theatre, which will, I am sure, be well
received at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Edinburgh Fringe Reviews
Venue C Central (Venue 54).
Address Carlton Hotel, North Bridge.
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat.
Something stirs in the C Central's Studio 1 in Carlton Hotel on the North Bridge. In the simple setting of an improvised black box theatre, a band of actors draw laughter and tears from their audience.They never miss a beat and are only occasionally overwhelmed by the sound of two fans, which bring much needed fresh air into this confined space.
Dickens' Children is a pastiche of scenes from his novels, sensitively adapted and directed by Nick Warburton. The common thread is Charles Dickens' depiction of the plight of children in Victorian post-industrial society - expect a delightful journey through a variety of works including Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House and David Copperfield.
Amongst the superb company of players, special mention to James Dowson whose performance as Dickens and the children is absolutely delightful. Tricia Peroni creates a compelling Miss Havisham, and her portrayal of Fanny Squeers will have you in stitches. Guy Holmes is suitably ominous as Magwitch and Squeers, and Rosemary Eason's motherly characters humorously evoke Dickens' originals. Ken Eason, Suzi Turton and Martin Woodruff offer equally captivating performances - together the cast vividly re-create Dickens' bleak world of greed and misery.
This is a show for both children and grown-ups. It will engage you, entertain you and touch your heart. Do not miss it.
© Ksenija Horvat, 16 August 2004 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
BAWDS - NORMAL NESBITT
Suzi Turton excels as the teacher who has entrapped a pupil on behalf of the government because he's been scientifically proven to be perfectly average. She conducts her monologue as part Joyce Grenfell, part Snow White's wicked stepmother, and manages to be simultaneously vulnerable, sympathetic and sinister. It's a clever premise and a well-written script, emphasising the sheer importance of 'middle of the road' as demonstrated in the actions of Gordon Nesbitt who affects the stock markets with his chosen biscuit. A short sketch at the beginning involving two scientists in a clandestine meeting was a bit hit and miss though and didn't really explain itself. Still Normal Nesbitt is better than average.
Three weeks - tw rating 3/5
DICKENS' CHILDREN - Lovely
acting,... 23 Aug 2004**** - reviewer: David
This is a lovely piece, thorough and competent acting. A pleasure to watch. Thank You
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