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Category : Reviews

29 Nov 2017

review of talking heads

by Arthur Rochester When November’s planned production of Hedda Gabler had to be replaced, Pauline Armour’s choice of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads could be described as inspired. Originally written for nineteen-eighties television, these monologues are ideally suited to live performance in a small auditorium and, on the evening I attended, received one of the most enthusiastic responses I can recall at BLT for some time. Straight from directing what she described as ‘a cast of thousands’ in Great Britain, Pauline, sharing […]

28 Nov 2017

Review of DNA

by Nikki Packham I didn’t know this play at all and avoided Google, so I had no idea what to expect.  I love BLT Bar Shows because, as you enter this intimate space, you have the first flavour of the piece before it even starts.  Friday night was no exception.  The full floor acting area between the pillars was a carpet of leaves and Tony Jenner had turned the pillars themselves into tree trunks, decorated with branches, cleverly fixed to […]

12 Nov 2017

Review of Great Britain

by Taylor Green Richard Bean’s 2015 satirical play Great Britain takes us back to the Fleet Street of the tabloids of ten to fifteen years ago, just before various “dark arts” were exposed, and when mobile phones were still a novelty. In those days publicists arranged who was and who was not in the papers, celebrity bins were rummaged, and personal details were blagged from banks. The tabloids had corrupt relationships with both the police and politicians. They were all […]

18 Oct 2017

Review of ‘Jezebel’

By Arthur Rochester Originally performed in Dublin and then at London’s Soho Theatre, Mark Cantan’s play gives an ironic makeover to the modern sex comedy, brilliantly funny without salaciousness. It centres around the relationship between two young professional people, from their first innuendo-laden encounter at a business meeting, to the point where, a few months later, they decide to spice up their waning sex-life by recruiting a compliant third person to engage in a ‘threesome’. Their choice falls on the […]

04 Oct 2017

Review of Four Nights in Knaresborough

Review by Nomi Bailey The challenge and scope for a playwright when producing an historical drama is that when working in a well-known historical framework, because of the lack of contemporary literature their imagination comes to the fore. Set after the murder of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170, Paul Webb’s play explores the aftermath for the four Knights who committed the deed on the orders of Henry II, who then tried to absolve himself by saying […]

05 Aug 2017

Review of ‘Arabian Nights’

By Laura Ings Self It has become apparent from their appearances in main house shows over the last couple of seasons that the BLT Youth Group hosts some very talented members. Arabian Nights clearly demonstrated that this talent is not limited to one or two members and indeed showcased some of the brilliant talent being nurtured by leader-directors Jessica-Ann Jenner, Richard Stewart and Hazal Han. Many of the stories of the Arabian Nights are familiar to us, but some, I […]

30 Jul 2017

Review of ‘Nell Gwynn’

by Taylor Green One great merit of Jessica Swale’s play, in addition to it being immense fun, is that you get to see Nell Gwynn not through the eyes of others but very much on her own terms. The Nell Gwynn of history, one of the first English female actors as well as the king’s favourite mistress, made an impact on those who met or saw her.  Her acting career was, in fact, brief although her comedy roles were the […]

26 Jun 2017

Review of ‘Of Mice And Men’

By Arthur Rochester John Steinbeck’s acclaimed 1937 play has long been regarded as an American literary classic and, having made regular appearances on the English stage, is today a set text in the GCSE and ‘A’ level curricula. Mike Savill, having waited years for the performing rights to become available, finally succeeded in bringing it to the BLT stage in June. The play paints a vivid picture of life in the great American depression, as itinerant workers roamed the wide-open […]

08 Jun 2017

Review of ‘The Breath Of Life’

By Roxana Graves I came away from this performance thinking. I like that. Despite that, it had been an exceptionally warm day and so it felt rather tropical in the bar. Arguably not the best day to imagine being inside a cold, slightly shabby flat on the Isle of Wight. Yet imagine I did. Frances travels to the island specifically to see Madeleine, the ex-mistress of her ex-husband Martin. Their affair, (I hesitate to call it that, it being so […]

28 May 2017

Review of ‘People’

By Laura Ings Self A Sunday afternoon stroll around the house and gardens of some ancient great pile, followed by the “sacrament of coffee and walnut cake” – these are the activities that make us quintessentially British. But does our poignant desire for things to be catalogued, retained and restored to their former glory take away from the fact that these cold exhibits with their red ropes were once people’s homes? This question – centring on The National Trust itself […]