Tag Archives: Andrew Goddard

Close Up – 3 Stars


Close Up

New Diorama Theatre

Reviewed – 18th February 2018


“this mixed-media performance does an adequate job at questioning our freedom of speech within the technological age”


In a world where sex and violence sells, where humiliation and ridicule have become the norm within the content we watch, you forget that there was once a time when strict laws against such matters were in place across the arts and media in this country. Odd Eyes Theatre’s new production, Close Up, examines the past and present to see whether pushing boundaries to the extreme has ultimately given us the freedom to profess ourselves as individuals. Written and directed by founding company member, Emilia Teglia, Close Up throws up an intriguing and timely conversation on what it means to be in the media within the 21st century and whether some of the restraints on the entertainment industry, 50 years ago, could be of benefit today.

Young and vivacious documentary maker Lauren (Sophie Delora Jones) is desperate to get her work signed with one of the big television networks. She hopes with her new project that she will finally be able to achieve this. Enter the elderly yet ever-so-glamorous ex-showgirl Grace (Gilly Daniels) who becomes the face and subject of Lauren’s film. Relaying stories of her youth, Grace reveals the adventurous life she had, including, touring the world whilst singing for the troops during WWII and her escapades on stage and television during the censorship years of the 50s and 60s. As Grace happily drifts through her memories, it is the metaphysical presence of her dear friend Kenneth Williams (played brilliantly by Andrew Goddard) that guides Grace through her newfound fame. However, the etiquette of television has somewhat changed from what Grace knew. Are Lauren and the immoral producer Jason (also portrayed by Goddard) exploiting Grace, all in the name of ‘entertainment’?

Considering Close Up is still in a work in progress stage, the performances given by each actor were extremely good. Hats off to Andrew Goddard for giving a tremendous go at portraying Kenneth Williams. It’s praiseworthy for the fact that Goddard does not try to completely mimic the comic actor, rather that he possesses the essence of Williams instead. To a younger audience that may have no or little idea of Kenneth Williams, some dialogue or in-jokes may go over their heads, however, having the millennial Lauren likewise unaware of who Kenneth Williams is, eliminates any risk of alienating part of the audience.

With the combined use of theatre, and live and prerecorded film, this mixed-media performance does an adequate job at questioning our freedom of speech within the technological age. Being a work in progress, there are areas within the plot that still need refining and reworking, however, the production is most definitely moving forward in the right direction. It will be compelling to see how it develops in the future.


Reviewed by Phoebe Cole


Close Up

New Diorama Theatre



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Close Up

Pleasance Theatre

Reviewed – 28th September 2017





“with some further development has the potential to become a thought-provoking and complex piece of theatre”



Litmus Fest is the Pleasance Theatre Trust’s research and development festival. Now in its second year, it is the launch pad for six brand new shows over six days. Close Up, is one of those shows.

Devised and performed by Odd Eyes Theatre Company (Emilia Teglia, Tina Rath, Andrew Goddard and Leila Nashif), Close Up is a multi-media production which explores the changing face of censorship and what it means in Western society today. It tells the story of Clive Boon, a 1960s Polari speaking comedian and the overnight success of Grace, a lady of advancing years who becomes involved in a fly on the wall documentary about sex and relationships in the 21st century.

The character of Grace dreams of standing out and gaining notoriety; she has an outstanding personality but this results in many of her relationships breaking down. The actor, Tina Rath, plays this well. She gives Grace a dual personality of vigour and sensitivity, which is endearing for the audience to watch and I would be interested to see where they take this character.

The story of Clive Boon, played by Andrew Goddard, felt slightly contrived and not quite fully developed which is somewhat to be expected in this work in progress setting. Boon appears to be a comedian who has a comedy act on the television. This story is however, unclear; the idea of Polari slang and the connection that it has with censorship is an interesting concept as the basis for a performance, but would need to be fleshed out a bit in order for the audience to understand the connection between Boon and the narrative as a whole.

The stage was minimal but used both film and photography to show some, perhaps rather invasive, images of Grace together with black and white footage of Clive Boon performing his comedy routine. Both these elements rendered themselves nicely to the performance. Zanep Dagli, Close Up’s visual designer and filmmaker, added more texture to the performance by adopting a multimedia approach; it created another layer of theatricality to the performance. It also constantly confronted the audience with questions about the idea of censorship and what we are shown on television and through social media. The use of film and photography is a dynamic way of foregrounding the issues being addressed in Close Up and once developed and polished further could really lift the performance.

At its core, Close Up brings interesting questions to the forefront; why is it that what was previous ‘forbidden’ in the media is now being glorified and glamourised? Does censorship protect us, or limit our freedom of speech and creativity? These ideas are provocative but the story line that carries them is not yet coherent enough and lacks clarity. However, the audience did get a flavour of the staging, characters and fundamental idea of the piece, that with some further development has the potential to become a thought-provoking and complex piece of theatre.


Reviewed by Holly Barnard




was at The Pleasance Theatre

as part of Litmus Fest 2017




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