Tag Archives: Ellamae Cieslik

Doctor Who Time Fracture

Doctor Who – Time Fracture


Unit HQ

Doctor Who Time Fracture

Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Unit HQ

Reviewed – 16th June 2021



“If this site, lacks the in-your-face flash of Disneyworld, it more than makes up for it in the energy and commitment of its large and diverse cast”


Dedicated Whovians are in for a treat. The BBC has found a site, allegedly hidden around 1942 but only recently rediscovered, that offers an exciting adventure travelling through time and space with at least some of your favourite characters from the iconic television show. I say “at least some” because this elaborately staged production not only leads the audience through a series of well designed sets, but divides them into small groups, and smaller sets, for exclusive mini adventures. The audience is reunited twice — for a much appreciated break during the middle of the show (complete with your drink of choice and live music) — and at the end of the show for the apocalyptic breakdown and grand finale. If this site, cleverly concealed in a quiet mews just down the road from Bond Street tube, lacks the in-your-face flash of Disneyworld, it more than makes up for it in the energy and commitment of its large and diverse cast. Both “alien” and “human.”

I’d like to tell you more, but the Doctor threatened me (very nicely, of course) with a total mindwipe if I said anything about the plot. “The first rule of Time Fracture is….” — so I hope, prospective intrepid time traveller, that you’ll forgive me.

I can say that for me (and my companion) this was a great way to spend an evening in London. Social distancing seems less noticeable when the audience is constantly on the move and involved in the action. There was plenty of recognizable timey-wimey stuff going on for Doctor Who fans, and if it was a bit shouty-wouty — well, there was a lot going on all over the place, and with different groups of people. The actors managed this remarkably well, considering that they were costumed from head to foot (often unrecognizably so) in small spaces on the hottest and most humid evening in London this year. They also had to be very deft with the improvised conversations, and to deal with audience members who tried to change the plot on them, or claimed to be at least one thousand years old. In some ways Doctor Who: Time Fracture will feel a bit like the haunted house exhibits for Hallow’een. In this show, however, the sets and costumes are way more cool, and yes, scarier in at least one instance. No, I’m not going to tell you. Spoilers!

Doctor Who: Time Fracture would be a good choice of event for a blind date or even a first date. You won’t be able to talk to each other with all the noise and excitement going on, but by the end of the evening, you will know if your prospective is Time Lord material — or just a mere mortal destined to be jettisoned straight back into the universe’s dating pool.



Reviewed by Dominica Plummer

Photography by Mark Senior


Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Unit HQ until April 2022


Reviewed this year by Dominica:
Public Domain | ★★★★ | Online | January 2021
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice | ★★★ | Online | February 2021
Adventurous | ★★½ | Online | March 2021
Tarantula | ★★★★ | Online | April 2021
Stags | ★★★★ | Network Theatre | May 2021
Overflow | ★★★★★ | Sadler’s Wells Theatre | May 2021
L’Egisto | ★★★ | Cockpit Theatre | June 2021


Click here to see our most recent reviews




The Space

Reviewed – 30th August 2017





“Roisin Brehony as starry-eyed Mandy was a true comedienne, stealing the show with her fantasy wedding ceremony to Elvis”


Patricia Burke Brogan’s insightful debut play Eclipsed from 1992 exposes the Magdalene convent laundries of Ireland. These penitentiary workhouses were where many unmarried mothers were forced into confinement either by the church or by their very own families, punished for having had a child out of wedlock – a child that many of the women never saw again.

Now, 25 years on since the original production, up and coming theatre company, FilthyCOW, have brought Brogan’s play, which was based on her own experiences as a young nun, back to the London stage, performing appropriately at The Space – a converted church. Filled with heartbreak and desperation, FilthyCOW enthusiastically portray the lengths in which these women would go to keep their sanity, whilst society gradually forgot about them. Dreaming of escape and being reunited with their children.

Transported back to 1963, we meet Brigit (Danielle Brook Weir), and the rest of the young women that are trapped under the strict regiment of the Mother Superior Victoria (Maryrose Swarbrick).


Brigit is the fiery ringleader, fuelled with anger and determination to see her child. Sickly Cathy (Francesca Swarbrick) similarly lives to see her children again, attempting valiantly to escape numerous times. Mandy (Roisin Brehony) dreams of the day she can marry her one true love, Elvis Presley, whilst Nellie-Nora (Clementine Webb) seemingly accepts her fate, more focused on rummaging through the pockets of laundered clothes for cigarette butts to smoke. It is young Juliet (Ellamae Cieslik), fresh from the orphanage and fearful of the outside world, who completes the motley crew of unwanted women.

Sister Virginia (Rosie Orchison) oversees the work within the laundry, but perpetually fights her inner turmoil between abiding the decree of the church and feeling remorseful towards the way the female inmates are treated.

Danielle Brook Weir stood out as the brassy, mischievous Bridget, subtly balancing her joker of the pack foolery, with her raw, maternal suffering. Meanwhile, Roisin Brehony as starry-eyed Mandy was a true comedienne, stealing the show with her fantasy wedding ceremony to Elvis, in polystyrene mannequin form.

Maryrose Swarbrick somewhat lacked the sinister nature that Mother Victoria needed for her to be feared by the likes of Sister Virginia, which added to the overall sense that the whole production was missing the grittiness to portray the severe abuse that these women would have undoubtedly received at the Magdalene Laundries. However, I have a feeling that this was more a downfall of the play itself rather than the actor’s performances.

Director Claire Sharpe used her musical talents to help uplift Eclipsed with melodic interludes of acapella singing. With a mixture of pious hymns and foot stomping jukebox hits, Sharpe utilised the strong singing ability of her actors to accentuate the conflicting nature of the oppressive old world being defied by the uprising of 1960’s popular culture.

It is understandable why FilthyCOW wanted to revitalise this play, as it historically draws upon the lack of control women have had over their bodies, a problem that is still an issue to this day, in certain demographics of the world. However, Patricia Burke Brogan’s play sadly lacked the full depth in tackling this issue in the way the company were hoping to, no matter how much élan the cast’s performance exuded.


Reviewed by Phoebe Cole


The Space link


is at The Space until 2nd September



Click here to see a list of the latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com