Tag Archives: Miriam Sallon

The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives
★★½

Pleasance Theatre

The Millennials

The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives

Pleasance Theatre

Reviewed – 20th May 2019

★★½

 

“there were a lot of good ideas in the making, but the execution missed the mark”

 

The term ‘millennial’ conjures up so many stereotypes – tech-obsessed, avocados instead of houses, supposed disillusionment with capitalist consumerism whilst still lusting after Yeezy trainers and the latest iPhone. Regardless, this is an entire generation, the first to grow up with the internet, social media, ubiquitous advertising, and the free market. They have a lot to say, and ‘Black Cat Theatre’ wants to give them the platform to say it.

Jon Long, our ‘host’ for the evening, potters on to the stage to his own announcement of himself, with a tiny guitar and lovely little ditty about what not to recycle (dead cats, dildos, grenades, more dildos). I say ‘host’ because whilst this is how he’s introduced to us, this is his only stage time all evening. Nevertheless, he successfully warms the crowd, and we’re ready and waiting for an evening of equally endearing and engaging acts.

The set is left behind from a zombie/haunted house show – a skeleton in a wig lays conspicuously along a staircase – but after a while, you quite forget and the few props used for each sketch override the wonky walls and boarded-up windows.

The sketches themselves feel a little amateur. Of course, they’re all works in progress so we’re not expecting anything too polished, but perhaps a little exploration would be nice. The opening act for example, ‘When Mum Swipes Right’ (Thomas J. Misuraca) is about a son (Alex Di Cuffa) walking in on his mum (Gillian King) enjoying a Tinder ‘hook-up’ (Ross Townsend Green), but that’s pretty much the whole sketch explained – the content only goes as far as to explain the pitch.

There are some ideas that, given a little more time, might progress to something of more interest- ‘Pucker Up’ (Sam Rogg), for example, discusses the daily struggle of women’s contraception. The subject is compelling and often left unremarked upon, and there’s room for a lot of comedy, but the sketch itself felt very educational – as though it might be touring a secondary school (not a bad idea, mind.)

One sketch did buck the trend, presenting a satire of a woman’s attempt to succeed in our current climate. ‘Some Necessary Measures’ (Rebekah King) sees Kosha Engler attempt to get to the top floor of a building, but on every floor, she must stop and check in with a new concierge (Mike Archer) who requires more and more absurd sacrifices on her part in order to allow her to proceed. Whilst it did feel a little on the nose, the comic timing was brilliant, and the story well told.

All in all there were a lot of good ideas in the making, but the execution missed the mark. Devorah Wilde and Alex Di Cuffa, the pair behind ‘Black Cat Theatre’ have done well in providing a platform for new ideas, but, cruel as it sounds, they’re perhaps a little too encouraging where they might be more discerning.

 

Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

 


The Millennials: Battle of Perspectives

Pleasance Theatre

 

Previously reviewed at this venue:
Spiked | ★★★★ | April 2018
A Gym Thing | ★★★★ | May 2018
Bingo | ★★★ | June 2018
Aid Memoir | ★★★ | October 2018
One Duck Down | ★★★★★ | October 2018
The Archive of Educated Hearts | ★★★★ | October 2018
Call Me Vicky | ★★★ | February 2019
Neck Or Nothing | ★★★★ | April 2019
Night Of The Living Dead Live | ★★★ | April 2019
Don’t Look Away | ★★★½ | May 2019

 

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

 

Operation Mincemeat
★★★★★

New Diorama Theatre

Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat

New Diorama Theatre

Reviewed – 17th May 2019

★★★★★

 

“With such a small audience and such a big production, it feels like everyone has the best seats in a much bigger theatre”

 

This is the true story of how a floating corpse kept Hitler off our shores. Set in the Home Office in 1943, the Double Cross Committee is busy brainstorming brilliant plans to win the war – exploding seagulls, spies disguised as flamingos and eavesdropping insects are all among their finest ideas. But the winning gambit involves the corpse of a soon-to-be married young man named Bill, who enjoys cocktails at the Ritz, dinner at the Groucho Club, fine tailoring and, oh yes, he’s not real.

Sitting somewhere between Monty Python and Mission Impossible, SpitLip’s ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is full of catchy numbers, quick wit, and a lot of heart. Each cast member transforms in to a plethora of dimensional characters with a mere hip swagger or a slight pursing of the lips. A lot of fun is had with gender roles and stereotypes, and to great effect.

Felix Hagan’s musical direction also sees a brilliant display of composition, and musical ability from the whole cast: each and every one sings beautifully and, believe it or not, raps like a pro. Special mention goes to Zoe Roberts (playing Bevan among others) whose rhythm is infectious – you feel as though you might accidentally join in. Along with his brilliant physical comedy, Jak Malone also has a heart-breaking falsetto – a surprising yet effective combination.

The set (Helen Coyston) and lighting design (Sherry Coenen) create illusions of a much grander space, illustrated with particular prowess during a hectic split-scene between a big, bawdy cabaret song and dance, and a dark and echoing submarine under threat of attack. With such a small audience and such a big production, it feels like everyone has the best seats in a much bigger theatre.

This production has the feel of something just on the cusp of great success – see it before word gets out and there are no tickets left!

 

Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

Photography by Alex Harvey-Brown 

 


Operation Mincemeat

New Diorama Theatre until 15th June

 

Previously reviewed at this venue:
Close Up | ★★★ | February 2018
It Made me Consider | ★★★ | February 2018
Trap Street | ★★★★ | March 2018
Left my Desk | ★★★★ | May 2018
Bitter | ★★★ | June 2018
Taking Flight | ★★★ | June 2018
4.48 Psychosis | ★★★★ | September 2018
Boys | ★★★★★ | November 2018
The War Of The Worlds | ★★★½ | January 2019

 

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