Tag Archives: Flora Doble

THE FALCON'S MALTESER

The Falcon’s Malteser
★★★★★

The Vaults

The Falcons Malteser

The Falcon’s Malteser

The Vaults

Reviewed – 19th July 2019

★★★★★

 

“wonderful fun for both young and old”

 

The Falcon’s Malteser is the first book in The Diamond Brothers comic detective series by Anthony Horowitz. Directed by Lee Lyford, Feargus Woods Dunlop’s stage adaption of The Falcon’s Malteser revitalises the 1986 novel and brings Horowitz’s quick wit and clever storytelling to a new generation of fans.

Timothy Simple (Matt Jopling) is an ex-policeman who has rebranded himself as Tim Diamond, the world’s greatest private detective. Unfortunately, Tim is not the brightest sleuth meaning much of the detective work is done by his kid-brother Nick (Sian Eleanor Green). Together, they form the Diamond Brothers Detective Agency though business hasn’t been doing too great.

That is until the three-foot Mexican Johnny Naples drops off a mysterious package at Tim’s office and the Diamond Brothers find themselves at the centre of the international criminal world. When the package’s contents are revealed to be a box of Maltesers owned by evil mastermind Henry von Falkenberg, Tim and Nick must decipher the tasty treat’s significance before London’s crime boss The Fat Man (Samantha Sutherland) and German hitman Himmell (Fergus Leathem) close in.

The acting was strong from all with Leathem and Sutherland doing incredible performances as multiple characters. Hiccups such as Sutherland missing a porthole when throwing a wig were handled with humour and played into the parodic and self-referential nature of Horowitz’s series.

The set (Carl Davies) was cleverly designed and allowed for smooth transitions between the different settings. The backdrop consisted of four doors and a window that also doubled as multiple shop fronts. Three of the doors could be flipped as to either form part of the grey wall or act as doorways. The door furthest to the left had a circular panel that could be removed through which characters could pop up and in one scene used to hang a disco ball.

The play’s chase sequences involved particularly impressive staging. In the first, Leathem as Himmell enacted an entire car chase with headlamps strapped to his knees while holding a steering wheel and riding a swivel chair. In the second, Sutherland as the dancer Lauren Bacardi and Green made great use of the set’s numerous doors and chase sequence tropes.

The lighting (Jack Weir) transformed the stage in an instance. A green hue gave the impression of a dingy basement while disco lights instantly conjured a lively club atmosphere. During Nick’s monologues, the stage would go black and Green put under a spotlight. This was an excellent way of keeping the audience engaged with the play’s necessary exposition despite the action on stage.

The music (James Nicholson) was wonderfully atmospheric. Soft jazz reminiscent of film noir detective movies played throughout the performance including as a flank for Nick’s narration. An upbeat remix of a self-checkout machine’s stock phrases such as ‘there is an unexpected item in the bagging area’ was also a particularly creative backing track to a high street chase sequence.

There were also several musical numbers for which Jopling provided guitar accompaniment. Leathem and Sutherland were standout here, first performing a duet as the Diamond brothers’ parents and then Leathem, as Tim’s old boss Inspector Snape, rapping about all the villains in his life to the beat of Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang. The final song was a solo by Jopling who played the guitar in handcuffs which meant he had to comically climb into his guitar strap rather than put it over his head.


This adaption of The Falcon’s Malteser is wonderful fun for both young and old and its quick-paced and witty script is sure to have the audience both laughing and gripped.

 

Reviewed by Flora Doble

Photography by Geraint Lewis

 


The Falcon’s Malteser

The Vaults until 25th August

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Check In/Check Out | ★★★ | March 2019
Donal The Numb | ★★★★ | March 2019
Essex Girl | ★★★★ | March 2019
Feed | ★★★★ | March 2019
How Eva Von Schnippisch Won WWII | ★★★★ | March 2019
The Talented Mr Ripley | ★★★★ | March 2019
Vulvarine | ★★★★★ | March 2019
Bare: A Pop Opera | ★★★ | June 2019
Black Is The Color Of My Voice | ★★★★ | June 2019
Me and my Whale | ★★★ | June 2019

 

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

 

50 Years of LGBT Pride
★★★★

h Club

50 Years of LGBT Pride

50 Years of LGBT Pride

h Club

Reviewed – 1st July 2019

★★★★

 

it is more important than ever that the LGBT+ community remembers the Stonewall titans who paved the way for gay rights

 

On June 28, 1969, a series of violent demonstrations erupted at the popular gay bar the Stonewall Inn in New York City after a police raid got out of hand. Police raids were frequent at gay bars at the time and any man or woman deemed to be engaging in homosexual behaviour would be arrested. The Stonewall Riots are considered by many to be the catalyst for the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for LGBT+ rights in the United States.

In h Club’s the Oak Room, Matthew Todd, editor of the UK gay magazine Attitude between 2008 and 2016, chaired a panel discussion about the myriad of challenges still facing the LGBT+ community 50 years after Stonewall.

The panel consisted of Hannah and Jake Graf, Brian Paddick and Dr Nneka Nwokolo. Each speaker began by talking about their history and involvement in the LGBT+ community. Hannah and Jake Graf are both transgender and made headlines across the country when they married in 2018. Jake is a writer and director specialising in short films dealing with transgender issues and Hannah was the highest-ranking transgender officer in the British Army until she left the forces a few years ago.

Brian Paddick sits in the House of Lords and was, until his retirement in 2007, the UK’s most senior openly gay police officer. Dr Nneka Nwokolo is a consultant physician in HIV and Sexual Health and has been working with HIV+ patients since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

The speakers were very impressive. It was especially nice to see transgender representation as LGBT+ spaces are often dominated by cis gay men. Nwokolo’s experience working with HIV+ patients before effective treatment was available was incredibly moving as she recounted how when she went home in the evening, she never knew which of her patients would be alive the next day.

The panel went on to discuss the commercialism of pride. Corporate brands have been accused of ‘jumping on the LGBT+ bandwagon’ during pride month. The panel argued however that this criticism comes from a place of privilege, that is, from those who live in big metropolitan cities. Todd talked about the impact that seeing something like a rainbow Starbucks cup can have on an individual living in a conservative area. Hannah Graf noted as well that corporation sponsorship of pride gives LGBT+ individuals some leverage if they were to face discrimination by one of these companies.

The discussion and tone were very conversational. The event could have been improved by an opportunity to ask questions, but the speakers hung around afterwards, so audience members were able to continue the discussion if they wanted.

Undoubtedly, a lot has changed in the last half-century, but the battle of LGBT+ equality is far from over. With increasing infighting amongst the LGBT+ community and growing reports of homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, it is more important than ever that the LGBT+ community remembers the Stonewall titans who paved the way for gay rights.

 

Reviewed by Flora Doble

 

https://hclub.com/

50 Years of LGBT Pride

h Club as part of their celebratory events for this year’s London Pride 2019. 

 

Shows previously covered by this reviewer:
Institute Of Nuts | ★★★★ | Matchstick Piehouse Theatre | March 2019
Queen Of The Mist | ★★★½ | Jack Studio Theatre | April 2019
Starved | ★★★★★ | Bread & Roses Theatre | April 2019
Flinch | ★★★ | Old Red Lion Theatre | May 2019
Rejoicing At Her Wondrous Vulva The Young Woman Applauded Herself  | ★★★★★ | Ovalhouse | May 2019
The Knot | ★★★★ | Old Red Lion Theatre | June 2019
Vulvarine | ★★★★★ | King’s Head Theatre | June 2019
East London Life Drawing: Cola Phalquero | ★★★★★ | h Club | June 2019

 

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