CUPPERS: Revue Sketches (Worcester)

Thu 10th – Sat 12th November 2011

reviews

Alice Penfold

at 00:12 on 11th Nov 2011

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Worcester produced four sketches from Pinter’s Night, Interview, That’s Your Trouble, and Applicant, which were flawless aside from one small glitch in the music during the first sketch.

Although they produced a selection of different extracts, all the actors were on stage throughout and were all involved in the dramatically delivered set changes between each sketch. The first sketch was the most understated of the collection but it had powerful performances by Chris Williams and Ruth Munglani, who delivered the dialogue with significant thought and timing. Music and lighting were used professionally and effectively, and this high quality of production continued into the second sketch. Both Anna Fairclaugh and Linus Schumacher also offered great performances, with fantastic comic delivery. Fairclaugh’s characterisation, particularly her facial expressions, somehow evoked a toned-down Bridget Jones – in a good way, of course. Schumaker also provided moments which were simply laugh out loud and they both put the stage space and the simple set to good effect.

Naomi Webber, performing in the third sketch alongside Anna Dominey, also had noticeably fantastic facial expressions, which were successfully captured by the small, intimate performance space of the Burton Taylor. The two worked well together, with natural and captivating gestures throughout the sketch. Yet again, strong performances were produced by Worcester’s talented actors.

It was the final sketch, however, which was the most powerful, with Williams performing again, this time as the socially awkwardness scientist, Lamb. Both he and Marie Findlay showed not just strong individual performances but had an excellent on-screen relationship. The music and lighting also reached a climax, through the drumming and the intense red light, ambitious technical work which certainly paid off.

It is difficult to fault Worcester’s Revue Sketches, with no weaknesses in the acting, directing or production: they provided intelligent and original adaptations of different Pinter plays. Hopefully we will see more of them on the Oxford drama scene in the future.

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