Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Ellie Clark. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Ellie Clark. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, 12 August 2019

Squad Goals, The Other Palace | Review

Squad Goals
The Other Palace
Reviewed on Saturday 10th August 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

Squad Goals written by Michelle Payne follows Lexi who wants to have the best summer ever playing football with her friends (and foes) before results day comes and they all have to take steps towards their futures. 

What's great about this piece is that each person has a characteristic or emotion the audience can relate to; so whilst football may not be your bag, there are other aspects which will draw you in and entertain. From Mel the theatre fanatic to Missy the wannabe lawyer and Ellie-Mae the social media influencer, there's a whole array of characters, each of whom are well identified and enjoyable to watch.

This is the third play to be performed by students of the Caspa Arts: Acting for New Writing part time course and it's terrific to see a showcase of performers in training, and new British theatre. The 10 strong cast work incredibly well as a  team and it's clear that they are loving working and developing together. 

Whilst the ensemble work is wonderful, there are a number of stand out performances. Firstly Mia Kelly as the hopeful drama student Mel. Mia is fantastically natural on stage and has great comedic timing, her performance is witty and well thought out. As leader of the squad Lexi, Hannah Khalique-Brown gives an ardent and charismatic performance as she races forward to fight inequality between women's and men's football and break barriers between social groups in her local area. As a character, Lexi is very truthful as she steps up to the plate without being over the top or unbelievable, something Khalique-Brown emphasises well. 

The influencers who are forever taking selfies and posting #ad posts are everywhere you look these days and Sophia de Souza brings the squad's resident 'It Girl' Ellie-Mae Hague to life with a marvellous balance of humour and kindness. Whilst Ellie-Mae is extra in every sense of the word, she is also a team player and the bond she has with the other girls is put across very well by de Souza, as is the compassion she shows as she influences the union of the groups. Lauren Cooper also shines as the dippy Sharky who is charming throughout and naturally gets the audience on her side.

Elsewhere, Emily Clark gives a strong performance as Amanda and has a great chemistry with Verona Smith as Missy who delivers some great one-liners and bounces off the other girls well.  Morag Davies is suitably feisty as Scrappy-Doo and Stephanie Stevens gives a well nuanced portrayal of Misha who is consistently fighting for equality but also longs for a group of friends to share her triumphs with. Antonio Ayuso provides comedic moments as he tries to prove himself to be a "man's man", Clara Mainardi is greatly mysterious as Assassina and as a whole the cast are very strong.

The use of movement is very effective in this piece, with the opening scene giving Spring Awakening vibes as the women approach the issues they face not only in football but in life. Throughout there are entertaining passages where the cast transition from one place to another or highlight specific feelings through sharp movement. This does well to both further the story and keep the intensity high from start to finish. 

In a time when the world seems pretty dark, it's lovely to see such an uplifting piece of theatre that highlights the importance of passion, hard work and friendship. Of course this is the beginning stages for Squad Goals and there's certainly room to pad out the story and establish the characters a bit more but overall, this is a really enjoyable hour, with a company of fantastic promise. Hopefully the show gets the further development it deserves and we don't see the end of this female story.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

In Conversation with Jonathan Andrew Hume | Alice in Winterland | Interview

Jonathan Andrew Hume played the lead role of Simba in The Lion King and is set to star in the Rose Theatre's production of Alice in Hinterland, alongside the Rose Youth Company. Jonathan spoke to Rewrite This Story about the show and all things Christmas...

What have some of your career highlights been?
I have been blessed with some great career opportunities. Two of my career highlights have been playing the lead role of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King in the West End, and also working with Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and director Rob Marshall in the upcoming movie Mary Poppins Returns.

What attracted you to this production of Alice in Winterland?
Our director Ciaran McConville has written a great take on Alice’s adventure. After reading excerpts of Ciaran’s script adaptation for my audition, and hearing Eamonn O’Dwyer’s great song the Blue Caterpillar sings, I knew this was going to be a fun project to work on, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

What can we expect from the show?
You can expect a brand new and exciting adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s iconic story. A thrilling and sometimes mad adventure into Wonderland, taking you on a journey of Alice’s self-discovery and with the help of her new-found friends, realisation of what strength and power lies inside her.

You play the Caterpillar/Knave, what’s the funnest part about playing these roles?
Playing the extravagance and edgy lethargies of the Blue Caterpillar are the most fun. He’s such a great character to play. However, quite frankly, playing the Knave is also fun because I play a villain! I’ve always wanted to play one of the bad guys, and there is a certain satisfaction in getting “booed” by the audience at the end. You definitely know you’ve done your job properly... or at least I hope that’s what they’re “booing” for!!!

Who in the show do you think is most like their character?
I think our four talented young actresses sharing the role of Alice (Ellie Clark, Madeline Lynes, Gaia Mondadori and Hannah Wilkinson) have become most like their characters. All four of them are living the role each night they go on, and they do it with ease. Seeing them grow as actresses through this rehearsal process has been a privilege to watch. Their acting choices are natural and personal, and they make Alice so relatable that you cannot help but feel with her, the love, anguish, pain and joy she goes through before your eyes.

When it’s 'Time for Tea', what’s your biscuit of choice?
Oooh, that’s a hard one! I’d probably have to say it’s a tie between an Oatmeal and Raisin Cookie and an Oreo.

On a scale of 1-10 how much of a Christmas lover are you?
Probably a '9’. I love spending time with family, gift giving, singing carols and getting into the spirit of Christmas. I take away one point because as beautiful as winter can be, especially when snowing, I’m not the biggest fan of the cold!

If you could spend Christmas with anyone dead or alive (other than your family), who would you choose?
Wow! Another hard question. I think I would actually like to spend Christmas with the Hatter from the show, because it would definitely be the craziest, funniest (and messiest) Christmas dinners ever!

Give us your best sales pitch as to why people should come and see Alice in Winterland!
Alice in Winterland is an extraordinary Christmas show which people both young and old will enjoy. Be ready to be taken on an adventure into Wonderland that is like no other. With enchanting scenery and costumes, extraordinary puppetry and memorable songs, all put together by an amazingly talented creative team and performed by a brilliant cast!

A huge thank you to Jonathan for taking the time to do this interview. Alice in Winterland runs at the Rose Theatre until January 7th.

Interview by Olivia Mitchell, Editor

photo credit: Mark Douet