Tag Archives: Lawrence Carmichael

The Break-up Autopsy – 4 Stars

The Break-up Autopsy

The Break-up Autopsy

Etcetera Theatre

Reviewed – 30th October 2018


“delivered on its promise of an hour of black comedy”


The Break-up Autopsy opens slap bang in the middle of a very messy situation. Dee (Larissa Pinkham), is sat by a window throwing book after book out onto the street. One of her legs is dangling over the frame, marinara has spilt across the front of her dress and she is howling as if her life depended on it. Steven Jeram’s character Alex stands by helplessly, shirt adorned with the same red stains, while Yasmin (Anna Christian) and Jake (Hraban Luyat), look in from the outside.

The play dissects the relationship of Dee and Alex. From meet-cute to present day, Alex’s step-sister Yasmin and Dee’s best-friend Jake force the couple to confront their dysfunctional history and show them the many times they could have broken up in a less dramatic fashion. However, how the characters related to each other is a point which was not clear to me until we were already half-way through. I thought the scene was set beautifully and I very quickly picked up on the personalities of all involved, I particularly enjoyed Anna Christian’s portrayal of motherly exasperation and the way Steven Jeram wove Alex’s dangerously manipulative nice guy net, but I ached for a bit of background information. For a long time, I had the four down as being old friends from school or university.

A little more about the characters would have also made for an easier ending. Which, without wanting to give anything away, felt like a struggle to tie everyone into the relationship. A valiant effort, but too late to give it a lasting impact.

The Break-Up Autopsy delivered on its promise of an hour of black comedy. I commend it more, however, for the sharp changes from one scene unfolding to a documentary style play-by-play of the couples’ best moves; a feat which could not have been pulled off without the cast’s impeccable timing and quick shifts of energy in their performance.

The production was a definite mood changer, worthy of every laugh and the applause it received.


Reviewed by Alexandra Wilbraham


The Break-up Autopsy

Etcetera Theatre until 4th November


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Find Your way Home | ★★★★ | February 2018
A Woman’s World / Monster of State | ★★½ | April 2018
Hello Georgie, Goodbye Best | ★★ | April 2018
Ophelia | ★★★ | May 2018
Saphira | ★★½ | May 2018
Keep Calm I’m Only Diabetic | ★★★ | June 2018
To the Moon… and Back… and Back… | ★★★ | August 2018
Too Young to Stay in | ★★★ | August 2018
Your Molotov Kisses | ★★★★ | August 2018
Bully | ★★★★ | September 2018
Little by Little | ★★ | September 2018


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Review of Richard III – 3 Stars


Richard III

The Cockpit Theatre

Reviewed – 18th October 2017



“the real stand out performances lie with the females in this play”


Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s longest plays. This fact does not hold back Front Foot Theatre’s production of the classic text. From the beginning it’s easy to follow and captivating.

All of the acting in this production is strong with a few performers being quite exceptional. Kim Hardy portrays Richard as a subtly menacing villain. His physicality of Richard’s deformity is visible but doesn’t ever border on being too much. The Duke of Buckingham, played by Guy Faith, acts wonderfully as his sinister right hand man. However, the real stand out performances lie with the females in this play, particularly Helen Rose Hampton as Queen Elizabeth and Fiona Tong as the Duchess of York. The strength of their characters easily shines through even when placed in terrible situations.

The use of space in this adaption is extremely clever. We’re brought closer in to the action by a thrust staging and the unused seating bank is utilised as a piece of set (designed by Amanda Mascarenhas) throughout the play. The balcony above the stage is used for numerous scenes. However, using the section directly above a large portion of the audience led to most being unable to watch the action and quickly becoming disengaged. Lighting (Kiaran Kesby) adds a lot to the space: uplighting the actors gives them a sinister glow and dark spaces allow characters to lurk in shadows.

One of the cleverest parts of this production is the use of puppets (made by Jenny Dee) to portray the infamous Princes in the Tower. These work well due to the actors both operating and voicing them. It would have been easy for this to come across as silly, but they manage to avoid that completely.

Throughout the play the setting remained confused; it was a little too muddled between modern and historical. All of the battles were fought with swords and shields yet someone listens to a radio and another pins up photographs. It’s quite jarring. Although from an aesthetical perspective the monochromatic theme of the piece with only small splashes of colour is effective.

Directed by Lawrence Carmichael, this is a strong production. For the majority of the time it’s extremely engaging which is a major achievement considering its length. With Shakespeare it’s easy to get too carried away and caught up in things but this adaption remains grounded and easily understandable.


Reviewed by Katie Douglas

Photography by David Monteith-Hodge




is at The Cockpit Theatre until 4th November



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