The Dance Hall
Blue Elephant Theatre
Reviewed – 1st November 2017
“It is a beautiful story that many can relate to”
Written, produced and directed by Eve Niker, The Dance Hall is a delightful, intimate story about a family going through the sad and difficult period that the loss of a someone beloved always causes.
We see how Jimmy (Jeremy Drakes), an Irish father and grandfather who emigrated to England in his youth, is hurting and fighting the loss of the love of his life, Annie (Rebecca Lee). Theresa (Dorothy Cotter) and Grace (Tania Amsel), Jimmy’s daughter and granddaughter, briefly attempt to reconnect with him after Annie dies but he is a very stubborn man still adapting to life on his own.
The actors worked well, making the audience connect fully with the story from the beginning to the end. Their dancing and singing were well suited to the play and delicately performed.
The live violin and guitar music together with the subtle lighting created an environment of both warmth and coldness at the same time reflecting Jimmy’s ongoing journey from dependence to independence. The Dance Hall is presented as a work in progress so the set and costume design are minimal which in a way works well. It would be interesting to see how a developed set in the future works and whether this would perhaps take away from the raw emotions of the piece.
Generally, the play is a good watch but some of the scenes are a little slow. It is a beautiful story that many can relate to that deals with love, loneliness, loss and learning how to cope. Presented in such a small but cosy venue only adds to the intimacy of the piece. It will be interesting to see how the show is developed in the future. An enjoyable experience well worth seeing.
Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com
THE DANCE HALL
is at The Blue Elephant Theatre until 2nd November