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01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Cause Celebre’

By Hilary Cordery Based on the true and sensational story of a woman who, together with her (much) younger lover, were jointly charged with the murder of her husband, Terrence Rattigan’s ‘Cause Celebre’ was an ambitious production for BLT. Director Mike Savill had his work cut out in bringing to life what was originally a radio play, and it is to his credit that this was a very successful and impressive production notwithstanding the undeniable staging challenges. In the lead […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Orphans’

By Peter Yolland Dennis Kelly, the author of ‘Orphans’, came from a London council estate and is best known for his dark style of writing. ‘Orphans’ was first staged in 2009 and the story revolves around a family living on what has been described as a sink estate. Danny and Helen are sitting down to an evening meal when her brother Liam bursts into their flat, claiming that he has come upon a person who has been attacked. Both Danny […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Rules For Living’

By Hilary Cordery We’ve all been there, the family Christmas Day from hell. Everyone tries really, really hard but there comes a point when something (or someone) snaps and all hell breaks loose, “bedlam” to quote the aptly named card game of the 2nd Act of Sam Holcroft’s “Rules for Living”. Director Jane Buckland’s production brought this oh-so-familiar scenario hilariously to the BLT stage. But the production was much more than a gloriously riotous and uproarious comedy. Intriguingly, we got […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘James And The Giant Peach’

By Mike Savill ‘Community theatre’, ‘semi-professional’, ‘am-dram’ – call it what you will but for the vast majority of us that practise it, this is a hobby- albeit a sometimes all-consuming, emotionally fluctuating, midnight oil burning and, very occasionally, potentially lucrative one. And like most hobbies it is only fun when one can get immersed into it. Inclusivity is the key and this has been nowhere better exemplified to me in recent times than in the marvellous youth group production […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’

By Mike Savill One of the challenges in putting on a play as well known as ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is how to capture the essence of the production which made it famous and yet give it an identity of its own. There is no right or easy way of making it work, and the proof of the pudding is definitely whether the audience have had a good time or not come curtain down. Such was the task facing the […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Old Times’

By Mike Savill Some pieces of theatre are designed to entertain, to elicit emotional experience – laughter, tears, edge of the seat thrills but nothing more, clear cut, brightly shaded and obvious with barely any room for an artistic manoeuvre. Others speak of the human condition or a particularly pertinent theme of the ages but are wrapped up in a conventional narrative so that the viewer can take or leave as he or she sees fit. And then there are […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’

By Paul Campion Men find it extremely difficult to get married in Oscar Wilde plays. In ‘The Importance of being Earnest’ Jack Worthing is thwarted in his marital ambitions by possessing the wrong name. In ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ – dramatised by Constance Cox from Wilde’s original short story – the hero faces an even greater obstacle to getting hitched. Young blade-about-1890s London Lord Arthur Savile is all set to wed his sweetheart Sybil. Unfortunately Sybil’s mother is in thrall […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘Other Desert Cities’

By Patrick Neylan The lights go up and we walk out to the bar. We are – how shall I put it? – pensive. Finally my friend offers: “The set’s good, isn’t it?” If it were the final curtain instead of the interval, that would be the kiss of death. As they say in musicals, ‘No-one comes out whistling the set’. Actually nobody came out whistling anything. Other Desert Cities isn’t that sort of play. But with Serious American Drama […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘The Long Road’

By Richard Bowdery I must confess at the outset to having more than a passing interest in the theme of this play. During my time at the Home Office I worked on ‘It Doesn’t Have to Happen’, a campaign aimed at reducing knife crime amongst young people. I heard first-hand testimony from those whose lives fell under the brutality of this terrible crime. Yet in amongst the darkness there were shafts of light: people who chose to make a positive […]

01 Dec 2016

Review of ‘The Lieutenant Of Inishmore’

By Hilary Cordery BLT is no stranger to the plays of Martin McDonagh. Previous seasons have treated us to acclaimed productions of The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan. BLT’s latest production of The Lieutenant of Inishmore, the festivals entry this year, continued the trend of marrying great writing with a very high standard of production – although the play wasn’t for those of a squeamish disposition or cat-lovers! It is the early 1990s in Northern Ireland. […]