Skip to main content

Flash Festival 2017: Push & Shove by Crisis Point Theatre at Hazelrigg House, Northampton

Despite being a long term blogger, the alternative vlogging has mostly passed me by and I have rarely sat and watched many and certainly am not an avid subscriber of one, however the social revolution of them has not passed me by as I am very aware that many people make an awful lot of money nowadays as vlogging stars. In this Flash show Olly Manning plays one such vlogger and in Push & Shove, he has something very special for his subscribers.

To be perfectly frank, that something special is really quite simple to guess. I realised very early the contents of the ominous box that Olly's character Jared Howell presents to his audience at the start of the vlog, and it is clear very early on who is going to be on the end of the said contents as Jared goes through his pretty bleak piece to camera. However guessing does not change the impact of this cleverly put together play.

At the basis of this Flash is another issue play, this time mental illness, one which thankfully is gaining more and more recognition after having spent too long being ignored, most especially in the male gender. Push & Shove handles it with a nice touch, allowing the story to unfold in a believable way, Olly chipping away for the audience the emotions of Jared beneath.

There is a delightfully well-sung song during proceedings to music nicely played on guitar by Luke Mortimore, although this did get me wondering how we were meant to interpret his appearance as everything was supposedly done live. Was this chap sitting in the corner of the room observing Jared as he made his final vlog? It just felt strange as everything else was intuitive and being created very naturalistically by one person for his audience. Not a problem, just a little something I was unsure of.

There is also an issue of performing to a camera for a vlog for the audience within the room and this was slightly made more problematic by the configuration if the seating with audiences on two sides rather than the usual format, which could have meant it was presented front on, instead of often to one side.

However this was a powerful piece of theatre well performed by Olly, which while didn't hold much surprise (except for one member of the audience), was very well constructed and believable in its telling of a very real issue that the world needs to deal with.

Performance viewed: Wednesday, 24th 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 Legally Blonde at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

As I settled down in my chair at the Derngate to see this touring production of the musical Legally Blonde, I generally had no idea what I was letting myself in for. Never having seen the film, read little up on the show, as is my want, and sitting in a clearly unbalanced gender demographic, this show was quite clearly not targeted at me.

As the opening number, a catchy, but the incredibly screechy song, Omigod You Guys was performed, I was not, let's say, won over at first. However, it was clear that this just served as an overwhelming and ridiculous setup to the boldness of the show. The second number, Serious was a much better experience and genuinely funny song and throughout the tracks to come, there was much better to come.

Our lead is Elle Woods (a charming, bubbly Lucie Jones), a typical caricatured blonde whose sole aim in life is to get the hand of her love in life Warner Huntingdon III (Liam Doyle). When he breaks up with her in pursuit of someone "serious" t…

Review of The Caretaker at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Some other very wise person has probably described Harold Pinter as a marmite playwright, however, if they have I still claim it as my own and happily used it a few times, before, during the interval and after this new production of The Caretaker, from director Christopher Haydon (a co-production between Bristol Old Vic and Royal & Derngate). Pinter has a strange style which you clearly either get or don't. Since seeing his work first in 2013, with The Hothouse at Trafalgar Studios, I have come down in the first camp of "enjoying" his work. I have to be honest though in the fact that I have difficulty working out why.

The Caretaker is a prime example of the originality and oddness of Pinter, Aston meets a tramp, Davies, before the play opens, and brings him to "his" house and allows him to sleep there. Soon Mick arrives, Aston's younger brother and things become less clear of the status of these three. Over the course of two hours or so, characters are …

Review of Shirley Valentine at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

As we settled in the theatre ahead of the performance of this touring version of the, up to then unfamiliar to me, Shirley Valentine, I could not have realised that a slight inner-Valentine part of me, old before my time, had emerged. Making note of the far too loud pre-show music in the theatre was a typical old person thing to comment on, which verbally I tried to discuss over the aforesaid loud music with my company for the evening.

I feel it's a far point though, as this eighties written piece from Willy Russell was clearly mostly catering for a certain age group and therefore I suspect comment and thought of this music might not have just lain within my thoughts.

Fortunately, however, this minor issue was to be the lowest point of this highly entertaining evening and revival of Russell's well-regarded classic. Shirley is a tired and ill-appreciated housewife, preparing dinner for her working husband as she relays the conversation with both us and "wall" of the …