Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Isabella Pappas. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Isabella Pappas. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Bring It On, Southwark Playhouse | Review

Bring It On 
Southwark Playhouse 
Reviewed on Tuesday 7th August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

If like me, you're constantly in a state of missing In The Heights then the British Theatre Academy's production of Bring It On is just the energetic, humourous, heart-felt fix you need. Based on the 2000 hit film, Bring It On follows follows cheer-royalty Campbell who's  future is looking bright. She's just been named cheer captain for her senior year and is hoping to lead her team to National's glory. However, a sudden redistricting means she has to transfer to neighbouring Jackson High School where everything she knows is turned upside down...

With music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda it's no surprise that the score is incredibly catchy and fast-paced; hip-hop influences are seamlessly intwined with classic musical theatre tunes. Whilst the plot line is nothing new it is suitably modern and has the overarching messages of teamwork and empowerment which are always welcome.

Once Campbell is thrown into her new school world, things really get going. Former cheer mascot Bridget finds a new lease of life and an acceptance that she's never previously experienced, whilst, Campbell begins to realise that social conformity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The young, vibrant cast do an outstanding job of bringing the school halls and cheer routines to life. Robyn McIntyre is wonderfully emotive and vocally stellar as the front-woman who drives the story onwards. Alongside her, Kristine Kruse provides not only comic relief, but great vocals and brings the message of unity to life. Isabella Pappas is brilliantly and brutally expressive as the token mean girl Skylar, also providing some shining vocal moments. 

Other standouts include Clark James, Mary Celeste and Haroun Al-Jeddal who all draw the eye throughout and add a mountain of energy to an already highly spirited production. 

Ewan Jones' choreography is sharp and works well in the small space of the Southwark Playhouse, providing enough movement to keep both the audience and the cast always on their toes and with enough cheer movements to keep the theme without it becoming tacky. Tom Paris' set alongside Ben Jacobs' lighting add even more fun and brightness to the show. 

Of course this isn't a groundbreaking story but performed in such a vigourous and dynamic way, you can't help but love it. The entire cast give phenomenal performances and Bring It On is the high-kicking, fun-for-all show to put a smile on your face and a pep in your step.

Bring It On runs at the Southwark Playhouse until September 1st.

photo credit: Eliza Wilmot

Friday 11 February 2022

Instructions For a Teenage Armageddon, Southwark Playhouse | Review

Instructions For a Teenage Armageddon
Southwark Playhouse
Reviewed on Thursday 10th February 2022

Currently playing in The Little at the Southwark Playhouse, Instructions For a Teenage Armageddon is a solo show performed expertly by Rosie Day who also wrote the script (and the book on which it's based). With direction by Georgie Staight, it's an incredibly well written and performed social satire which broaches and discusses some incredibly emotional topics. 

At 75 minutes long it's quite impressive how much Day is able to fit into this painful coming-of-age story and it really is an intense rollercoaster. The show is a series of monologues from a witty, introspective teenager who is trying to cope with the death of her sister as well as teen betrayal, manipulation, isolation and trauma. What is a very deeply dark show is made lighter by looking at it all through the main characters eyes as she frames each section with gaining a new scout badge.

The entire show uses quick, clever prose and black humour which consistently walks the line of being too much, but always adds to the story and characterisation of the leading lady. What's particularly striking about the show is that you're seeing real trauma of a child brought to life; and aside from the more intense topics broached, many aspects are, unfortunately, hugely relatable for girls and women everywhere. The idea of altering who you are to fit in to societal norms and hiding pain behind humour is something many people grow up doing, and the pressures on girls to look and act a certain way never seems to change no matter how many developments are made. At the end of the day Instructions For a Teenage Armageddon acts as a fable or a cautionary tale on why we need to support one another and have open and honest conversations about mental health amongst other things.

Instructions For a Teenage Armageddon is incredibly engaging throughout, with Rosie Day bringing every story to life brilliantly and giving an outstanding performance. The use of projections also adds another element and make it feel more well rounded. Isabella Pappas' on screen performance is particularly memorable. This is an extremely timely, intense show that is expertly performed.

photo credit: Mark Senior