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Showing posts from December, 2014

Review of Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim performed by The Masque Theatre at The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton

For my fifth visit to the Masque Theatre, I headed Into The Woods for their production of Stephen Sondheim's musical. In my fast learning theatre binge this year, I had encountered Sondheim once before with Sweeney Todd (review here) and to say I had been mighty impressed was an understatement. Even to my untrained ear, Sondheim is quite a different writer of music which needs a great deal of concentration. However it is mightly rewarding if you do.

From the book by James Lapine, and cleverly weaving many Brother Grimms' fairy tales into one, it is a suitably macabre little story built around a constant musical track. While not having many totally memorable individual tunes with the exception of Into The Woods itself, the whole works suberbly together to make a hugely enjoyable musical.

In their production, the Masque Theatre were once again showing their pedigree beyond their "amateur" status. None of the performers were a let down, and some were simply superb and m…

The Mystery Of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

The Mystery Of Irma Vep was my first encounter with The Playhouse Theatre Northampton amateur group after missing their previous performances this year due to a clash with other happenings. It was also my first encounter with writer Charles Ludlum and I have to say that came as quite a surprise as well. Much like a Carry On film it was all silly antics and double entendres.

As would be expected for an amateur production the set was simple yet effective within budget constraints. There were rickety doors and troublesome gun racks, but it all added to the general frivolity of the play. The story is slight and pretty unimportant from Ludlum but the antics were keenly played by the cast of six (four main stars and two added delights). Further research of the play has led me to understand that the play is traditionally played by two gentlemen via quick changing with the men playing both male and female roles. The Playhouse has dispersed with this, but nothing appeared to be lost in this ex…