Now I Am Alone
Bread & Roses Theatre
Opening Night – 5th July 2017
“If you love Shakespeare I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this piece”
This one-man show devised by Dori Engel and Nick Hutchinson is now open for a short run at the Bread and Roses Theatre. The play runs for 50 minutes and explores the outsiders of many of Shakespeare’s plays, in an attempt to shed light and comment on some of his viewpoints found in his writing.
It begins with Dori Engel sitting on the stage as the audience enters in what appears to be his dressing room. This pre-show performance sees him going through his lines, and chatter starts to fill the space but not from the audience. We start to hear voices from many of Shakespeare’s famous plays, the noise gets louder and louder as it starts to fill the space, as it does Dori springs into action. He throws his script into the air out of frustration from trying to learn the words on the page. He then breaks out into a series of monologues, whilst swapping from one Shakespeare character to another.
The set (Melanie Lombard) is minimal and is an over embellished changing room for Dori Engel to use, which did little to add to the characters to be shown on stage. The lighting (Mike Robertson) however is used to great effect to show the changes to Dori’s characters, a simple yet smart way to keep the audience in tune with the roundabout of shifting personas.
Hutchinson’s directing utilised the space to the limits of its potential allowing Dori to fully own the space as he moved around it. There is a a high level of skill on show when delivering Shakespeare’s complex and poetic language, you can tell that Engel and Hutchinson are big fans of Shakespeare’s work. You really feel the understanding that he has for the words he is speaking, even if you struggle to understand them yourself. The development of characters could have been more in-depth, and at times I couldn’t help but feel the performance was lacking in intensity and energy.
I struggled to understand what the play was trying to achieve, and found it difficult to connect with. This play is one that needs a certain level of knowledge of Shakespeare’s work. At times, the play is witty and full of humour, and begins to show the darker side of the Shakespearian mind and if you love Shakespeare I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy this piece, if not, best to keep it at arm’s length.
Reviewed by JP
Photography by Gerard Allon
Now I am Alone
is at The Bread & Roses Theatre until 8th July