Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: Exposure by Imagine That Theatre Company at St Peter's Church, Northampton

The Play That Goes Wrong is undoubtedly one of my favourite plays (I have seen it three times so far as well), and Imagine That's Exposure is a clear homage to that very show (and indeed all its own influences through time). A group of five actors are about to perform a live television performance of The Picture of Dorian Grau, and they are absolutely planning on it going tremendously smoothly.

Lewis Hodson
Lee Hancock
It doesn't of course and for the best part, this little production does much of its buffoonery very well. There's more than a few issues and fluff, and at times it feels a little too wacky for its own good, however, this is slapstick and it is not meant to be clever.

The best part of this show, and one which The Play That Goes Wrong does perfectly as well, is the opening gambit of audience interaction. During the buildup to both shows, things are amiss, in one the set is falling apart and needs help (cue audience member), in this one two of the actors can't find one another and seek the assistance of the audience. This unscripted, reactionary piece featuring Lewis Hodson and Lee Hancock is genuinely and perhaps awkwardly the best part of the show due to an excellently reacting, mostly student audience. It makes you wonder if there might have been tumbleweed moments at the other two performances.

Lauren Scott
Hans Oldham
The rest of the show is hit and miss, when it works, like Lauren Scott being a tremendous bloke, it's great. When it doesn't, repeating the same joke, it annoys rather than thrills.

Exposure's biggest problem lies in being too loving of its influence. At times it is so close to The Play That Goes Wrong, is loses all of its own identity. Characters are largely similar, you have the audience reactionary one (Ben Barton), you have the lady and her relationship with another character, the Chris Bean identikit (Hans Oldham).

Ben Barton
I wanted to love Exposure simply because of its love of that other show, and to be honest I loved it more than I hated it. The opening sequence was magnificently entertaining and Lewis and Lee were a tremendous doubleact and perhaps the strength of that particular sequence that performance was detrimental to the rest of the show. It was however much more fun than glum and at the end of an hour that is absolutely fine.

Performance viewed: Thursday, 25th May 2017

The Flash Festival 2017 ran between Monday 22nd and Saturday 27th May 2017 at three venues across the town.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Dracula (or A Pain in the Neck) at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Regular readers of this fair blog will be aware that I am not overly keen on pantomimes, although I always at this time of year end up inexplicably in the vicinity of more than one (and this year I am destined for six I believe!). So, despite Dracula (or A Pain in the Neck), not officially being billed as a panto, that is very much the vibe of this Playhouse Theatre adaptation of the Bram Stoker classic.

A company of actors (well, aristocrats) in the 1920s have assembled to put on a little show, their own version of Dracula (or something like Harker of Whitby meets the Count) for us, the "willing" audience. Our host is Sir Simon Smee (Simon Rye) who will play Jonathan Harker during this little performance.

What follows is for the best part a slightly loose version of the Stoker classic, which does definitely at times get a little complicated in the way it tells the story, not made easier by the playing of characters playing characters explanation. However, this is, beyond i…

Review of Aladdin at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

Pantomimes have mostly held that special place in my heart, alongside William Shakespeare plays of all things, in that as a theatre completist, I tend to tolerate them, rather than always enjoy them. As well as tolerate though, I also appreciate when they have been performed extremely well. They may be very different beasts, but I acknowledge that both have that intense challenge for their performers, especially with panto and dealing with them pesky kids in the audience.

Aladdin though handles nearly everything with so much success that, even this hardy panto-sceptic had to concede to really rather enjoying it. It is true that 90% of the enjoyment for me was coming from one direction, and that was with Kev Orkian's rather incredible performance as Wishee Washee. Rarely have I seen a performer steal every scene, and indeed a show, to such as extent (and this is allowing for the fact that pretty much everyone else in this is also pretty good as well). His timing is exemplary, his i…

Review of The Jungle Book at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The Jungle Book is an age-old classic, made far more famous by Walt Disney than any other original writer going by the name of Rudyard Kipling. Mention the title to many people and they are more likely to say "oobee doo I wanna be like you" than say "oh, yes, the book by Kipling". Therefore to present this classic tale for the stage and dispense with all reference or hint to that ingrained music and create new music of your own is dangerous. However, that is before you witness the brilliant new work of Joe Stilgoe, with lyrics by adaptor Jessica Swale, and you realise very quickly you are in very safe hands. These are catchy, foot-tapping tunes of the killer variety.

However, Jessica Swale's adaptation is far from a procession of nifty tunes, this is a bold, clever and still very relevant production for 2017 of the now 123-year-old novel. Perhaps strong enough to live without those tunes if needed, this is no musical adaptation. Sweeping clever snatches of humo…