Tag Archives: Etcetera Theatre

The Wasp

The Wasp
★★★½

Etcetera Theatre

The Wasp

The Wasp

Etcetera Theatre

Reviewed – 24th June 2019

★★★½

 

“Lacey and Sammons both acknowledged the significance of each word so the author’s themes could be truly heard”

 

The Wasp, by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm depicts the encounter of two old school mates as they are reunited for the first time in twenty years. These two friends could not be more different, yet a startling proposition bonds them once more as their fraught history resurfaces with serious repercussions.

Peppered Wit Productions took this ambitious play on with great confidence and control, not being intimidated by the density of it. As a two-hander both actresses, Joanne Sammons and Tara Lacey kept up their stamina and their energy buoyant throughout the ninety minute play. Barely leaving the stage, they were engaging and took the audience on a journey with them providing a believable performance with the characters developing well.

Malcolm’s writing at times can be curt and Pinteresque and then contrast with lengthy monologue type responses – this could easily be lost by actors with less understanding, yet Lacey and Sammons both acknowledged the significance of each word so the author’s themes could be truly heard.

Peppered Wit Productions is a self funded company, creating their work collectively. They are an example of what collaboration done well looks like. The set design and directorial choices were well placed and executed with quality and professionalism – all done on what one can only image to be a somewhat meagre budget. They are also dedicated to bring theatre to audiences far and wide, making it accessible to communities who are often marginalised and left on the outskirts of the theatrical world. This is a very commendable trait of this accomplished theatre troupe.

The Wasp is a tale of psychological turns and societal dichotomies. Malcolm asks questions about the inherent nature of violence within human beings, about nature vs nurture and how childhood is more than simply a time in our past but the foundation and catalyst to our future life choices – all of which was depicted with dexterity, humour and commitment.

 

Reviewed by Pippin

Photography courtesy Peppered Wit

 

Etcetera Theatre

The Wasp

Etcetera Theatre ahead of Edinburgh Festival Fringe

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Little by Little | ★★ | September 2018
The Break-up Autopsy | ★★★★ | October 2018
Never Swim Alone | ★★★★ | November 2018
Rats | | November 2018
Vol 2.0 | ★★★ | November 2018
Jailbirds | ★★ | December 2018
The Very Well-Fed Caterpillar | ★★★★ | December 2018
Bricks of the Wall | | January 2019
Saga | ★★★★ | March 2019
Safety Net | ★½ | April 2019

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com

 

Safety Net
★½

Etcetera Theatre

Safety Net

Safety Net

Etcetera Theatre

Reviewed – 22nd April 2019

★½

 

“It’s hard to say whether I would have enjoyed this much more if I understood Chinese, but my guess is no”

 

There’s no doubt that Qianqian Chen’s ‘Safety Net’ is intentionally confusing – fractured timelines, one character played by two actors, and an abstract set design. But I can’t imagine it was intended to be completely incomprehensible.

Along with a programme, the audience is provided with a translation of various scenes that will take place in Chinese. Beside the fact that it’s quite difficult to read in a darkened theatre, let alone follow what’s taking place on stage whilst doing so, there are actually twice as many scenes in Chinese as there are printed translations. For the first couple I can hear the audience desperately rustling through, trying to find the correlating translation but after a while there’s a collective giving up, simply allowing the words to wash over us, with little to no grasp on what is happening.

The premise – as cobbled together from my hazy understanding, and the explanation on the programme – is about a young Chinese woman, Jing (Siqi Han/Lilian Tsang) living in the US whilst her fiancé Tian (Robin, Khor Yong Kuan) lives in China. In a strange and unknown environment Jing struggles with the new and the traditional; the passionate versus the practical.

The setting (Joy Huang) is equally as opaque as the script, devised only of black and white blocks, continuously restacked and reshuffled with no explanation. Similarly, the lighting (Jinwen Wang) spotlights on moments of seeming importance but those moments are not properly expounded upon. It’s hard to say whether I would have enjoyed this much more if I understood Chinese, but my guess is no.

 

Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

 


Safety Net

Etcetera Theatre until 27th April

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Bully | ★★★★ | September 2018
Little by Little | ★★ | September 2018
The Break-up Autopsy | ★★★★ | October 2018
Never Swim Alone | ★★★★ | November 2018
Rats | | November 2018
Vol 2.0 | ★★★ | November 2018
Jailbirds | ★★ | December 2018
The Very Well-Fed Caterpillar | ★★★★ | December 2018
Bricks of the Wall | | January 2019
Saga | ★★★★ | March 2019

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com