Remedial Remedies is a play that will resonate with generations to come

Remedial RemediesI often find when a play is set in a school it is hard to get to grips with. Firstly, we usually have an actor clearly in their mid-twenties trying to portray a teenager. Secondly, it’s usually written by someone who left school themselves ten or more years ago and the language can often feel out dated, with 90’s phrases like “whatever minger” being tossed to-and- fro. I guess it’s like trying to write a play about living on a canal boat when you’ve never left dry land. The school system, teenage colloquialisms and the process of learning and teaching change so rapidly, it’s hard to stay on the ball. Remedial Remedies manages to avoid all of this and instead gives a us a beautiful, charming and boisterous take on life in a standard British Comprehensive.

Bruce (Joseph Cox), Kevin (Samuel Ranger), Jack (Arian Nik) and Ben (Joshua Akehurst) are retaking English GCSE, hoping to finally get their C grade and write a half decent essay on their set text – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. We journey with them through their intensive week of revision with the ever hopeful Mr Winterdon (Miles Parker) as he tries to keep their exam and himself from crumbling before their eyes.

Moments of beauty echo through the chaos reminding us that teenagers aren’t all mouth, fights and trouble. One of these moments resonates particularly hard at the class show and tell when we get given the smallest glance in to the boy’s home lives, with a stunning performance from Joshua Akehurst as simpleminded Ben. Stereotypes are challenged and you begin to root for these four lads.

You knew these characters at school and many, I’m sure, see themselves in them as well.

Hartnell has captured both the pressure and excitement of growing up and finishing school. His dialogue charges through at 100 miles per hour, making the moments of quiet all the more spectacular. Nothing is forced upon you, no explosive ending or huge dramatic climax. Everything is left to the audience to decide. You take what you want from it and every other line leaves you to answer your own questions (what was Mr Tumnus’s ulterior motive!?). Remedial Remedies is a play that I’m sure will resonate with generations to come and I can only hope we get a chance to see it transfer.

5 star rating

Review by Hugh Roberts

Remedial Remedies looks at how the youth of today are pressured, how the stress of exams and succeeding can affect their overall performance and social life. We follow the story of Bruce, Jack, Kevin and Ben, four students who have failed their English GCSE. It’s the run up to the resit of the exam and they have been placed into a special revision session with a support teacher Mr Winterdon. Each boy deals with the week differently, we see the effects of ADHD and discover more about their relationship with Winterdon, each other and their school, seeing how each boy has a different outlook on the exams and their future life. As the pressure starts to pile on we watch as the cracks begin to appear and see a hopeless Mr Winterdon trying to pave the way to greatness…

After a fantastic reception at our first On The Night we are very proud to now be producing Remedial Remedies as a full production at Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theatre in July!
http://www.upstairsatthegatehouse.com/

Cast
Kevin- Samuel Ranger
Bruce- Joseph Cox
Jack- Arian Nik
Ben- Joshua Akehurst
Mr Winterdon- Miles Parker
http://www.fallingpennies.co.uk/remedial-remedies

Shakespeare As You Might Like It by Shook Up Theatre

Shakespeare As You (Might) Like ItYou are cordially invited to the Quad Centenary Wake in memoriam of William Shakespeare who shuffled off this mortal coil in 1616.

Join Shook Up Shakespeare for a night of rowdy and raucous entertainment at this boozy, brash and bawdy celebration of the bard.

Two actresses, three plays, six parts, limitless possibilities and just one more ingredient needed in this magnificent melting pot.. YOU!

Shook Up Shakespeare….well they definitely live up to their name! That is by no means a criticism. Before entering the theatre we were handed a “party bag” by a rather pleasant, attractive young lady. The Rosemary Branch Theatre is an intimate venue and upon entry we were greeted by a vivacious and welcoming lady offering us a stoop of wine or juice (apparently not wine, a mixture of alcoholic beverages) and a “much ado about muffin.” Not actually muffins either, a selection of cakes but the pun worked so we shall overlook that.

There was a pianist and violinist playing a selection of appropriate music whilst we waited for the play to start. The set was minimal with the piano, table, steps and a hat stand – at one point referred to as a palm tree – being all that was on stage, and needed for that matter. The lighting did the job, which was to light the entire stage and keep the audience in some light which was helpful for the audience participation. This wasn’t forced participation which I imagine is a relief for anyone petrified about such things.

It turns out the the ‘party bag’ lady was Helen Watkinson and the ‘bubbly peddler of drink and foodstuff’ was Roseanna Morris. Watkinson and Morris brought amazing energy to the play.

I am sat here writing the review with no real idea what happened, but it did get revealed Shakespeare was a party planner, which I never knew. Of course the tongue in cheek nature of the revelation lends me to treat it as artistic license over factual information! I think tongue in cheek is a great ways to describe the entire play. It is very well written and flows between ‘comedy sketch’ style dialogue between Watkinson and Morris to songs, dance,
Shakespeare’s literary genius, albeit delivered in a rather unique and unconventional style, and party games – this taking us back to the party planner side of the Bard. Both Watkinson and Morris were vocally good in the songs with Willow being my favourite to listen to.

Watkinson and Morris work really well together, I don’t know if this was their first outing as a duo or not but I definitely hope it won’t be the last.

I’m no expert in Shakespeare and have only seen a couple of his plays. Should more be like this quick 50ish minute play then I would have undoubtedly seen more. No it doesn’t follow the Bards intention but, damn, it is entertaining. Shakespeare purists would undoubtedly leave feeling disappointed if a true representation was wanted but I was left wishing it had been longer, which can only be a good thing. It is at the end of its run now so if you didn’t get the chance to see it then keep an eye out for their next project In the hope that will be just as good.

4 Stars

Review by Lee Cogger

UK Tickets for The Bodyguard at Dominion Theatre London

The BodyguardThe Bodyguard, based on the smash-hit film that starred Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, is heading for the Dominion Theatre, London, starring Beverley Knight as Rachel Marron.

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard Frank Farmer is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love.

A ‘brilliant’  romantic thriller (The Times) The Bodyguard features a host of irresistible classic songs including Queen of the Night, So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, Run to You, I Have Nothing, Jesus Loves Me, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hit songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.

Beverley Knight Performance Schedule 

Beverley Knight is NOT scheduled to perform on Mondays or midweek matinees including any revised matinee performances, or on 6 August, 31 August, 1 – 3 September, 20 – 21 September, 18 October, 28 October, 12 November, 15 November, 17 December, and 30-31 December.

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The producers of The Bodyguard cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist, which is always subject to illness and holidays.

UK tickets for Show Boat at New London Theatre

Show BoatThe ground-breaking classic musical Show Boat sails into London’s West End for the first time in almost 20 years, direct from a hugely successful and critically acclaimed run at Sheffield’s Cruicible Theatre.

Set against the backdrop of America’s Deep South at the turn of the 20th Century, Show Boat tells a powerful story of freedom, loyalty and above all, love.  The shows Broadway premiere in 1927 changed musical theatre forever and this lavish new production proves that its timeless themes and peerless music remain as vital, passionate and moving as ever.

So hop on board the Cotton Blossom show boat and be swept away by one of the most romantic musicals of all time, directed by Daniel Evans and featuring the timeless songs O’l Man River, Make Believe and Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man from Jerome Kern with lyrics and book by Oscar Hammersmith.

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  • Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Booking From: 9th April 2016
  • Booking Until: 7th January 2017

Matilda The Musical London Tickets

Matilda The Musical LondonRoald Dahl’s much-loved story explodes into life on stage in this incredible, multi-Olivier-Award-winning musical adaptation – Matilda The Musical – by Dennis Kelly and award-winning musician and comedian Tim Minchin. Children and adults alike will be exhilarated and captivated by the story of the exceptional little girl with an extraordinary imagination.

Her parents think she’s a nuisance and she thinks, quite rightly, that they’re only interested in watching telly. Life isn’t much better at school, where monstrous headmistress Miss Trunchbull terrifies both students and teachers at random. Then one day Matilda finds out she has a very special power and decides it’s time the grown-ups were taught a lesson. Be warned, the children are revolting…

Matilda The Musical London Tickets

Important Information:
Booking From: Friday, 7 October 2011
Booking Until: Sunday, 25 May 2014
Matinees: Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm, Sunday 3pm
Evenings: Tuesdays 7pm, Wednesday to Saturday 7.30pm
Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Cambridge Theatre
32-34 Earlham Street
London
WC2 9HU

Infra Red
Wheelchair access
Disabled Toilets
Air-Conditioned