Tag Archives: Tania Amsel

Blood Orange


Old Red Lion Theatre

Blood Orange

Blood Orange

Old Red Lion Theatre

Reviewed – 12th December 2019



“This is a play that will move you as well as warm your heart this Christmas”


When you think of theatre during the festive season, a play about a junior doctor’s experiences around this time of year may not be one of the first things that comes to mind. Tania Amsel has written, and is the sole performer in, Blood Orange, which centres around Amy as she works in Swansea A&E on Christmas Eve.

Amy has been out for drinks with her colleagues the night before which ended with her vomiting over the shoes of a surgeon she is clearly in awe of. She then has to deal with the shame of this the next day, whilst seeing to an array of patients including a man dressed as Santa who quite literally got stuck in a chimney. Here, it’s not hard to feel empathy for Amy, whilst laughing at some of the situations she finds herself in.

One patient, a young boy with cancer, strikes a chord with Amy and we see her enter into a mild panic, but it isn’t clear why at this point. With time, we learn that this particular patient has brought back childhood memories, with a trip to London for an interview at Great Ormond Street Hospital only strengthening her flashbacks.

Throughout the piece, lighting (Jamie Platt) and sound (Tingying Dong) prove highly effective. Everything from sounds of the hustle and bustle of a busy Oxford Circus to the intense lighting design when Amy is having flashbacks means we can engage well with the story.

On the subject of engaging well with the story, Tania Amsel’s performance style means we can do this without difficulty. She directly addresses the audience with ease, allowing us to connect with Amy and her experiences. It’s always interesting to see how one man/woman shows are delivered and Amsel’s energy and likability is proof that they can be a success. The fact the set includes only a fold up chair and what resembles the frame of a hospital screen is further testament to Amsel’s ability to consistently engage an audience.

In addition to shining a light on life as a junior doctor in the NHS, Blood Orange highlights what can happen when the pressures of a job become too much and a person’s personal and professional lives collide. Directed by Hamish MacDougall, Amsel has created a likable character and tackles her subject matter with sensitivity, warmth and humour, along with bucket loads of energy. This is a play that will move you as well as warm your heart this Christmas.


Reviewed by Emily K Neal


Blood Orange

Old Red Lion Theatre until 4th January


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Anomaly | ★★★★ | January 2019
In Search Of Applause | ★★ | February 2019
Circa | ★★★★ | March 2019
Goodnight Mr Spindrift | ★★ | April 2019
Little Potatoes | ★★★ | April 2019
The Noises | ★★★★ | April 2019
Flinch | ★★★ | May 2019
The Knot | ★★★★ | June 2019
Edred, The Vampyre | ★★★½ | October 2019
Last Orders | ★★★ | October 2019


Click here to see our most recent reviews



The Dance Hall

Blue Elephant Theatre

Reviewed – 1st November 2017

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2


“It is a beautiful story that many can relate to”


Written, produced and directed by Eve Niker, The Dance Hall is a delightful, intimate story about a family going through the sad and difficult period that the loss of a someone beloved always causes. 

We see how Jimmy (Jeremy Drakes), an Irish father and grandfather who emigrated to England in his youth, is hurting and fighting the loss of the love of his life, Annie (Rebecca Lee). Theresa (Dorothy Cotter) and Grace (Tania Amsel), Jimmy’s daughter and granddaughter, briefly attempt to reconnect with him after Annie dies but he is a very stubborn man still adapting to life on his own.

The actors worked well, making the audience connect fully with the story from the beginning to the end. Their dancing and singing were well suited to the play and delicately performed.

The live violin and guitar music together with the subtle lighting created an environment of both warmth and coldness at the same time reflecting Jimmy’s ongoing journey from dependence to independence. The Dance Hall is presented as a work in progress so the set and costume design are minimal which in a way works well. It would be interesting to see how a developed set in the future works and whether this would perhaps take away from the raw emotions of the piece.

Generally, the play is a good watch but some of the scenes are a little slow. It is a beautiful story that many can relate to that deals with love, loneliness, loss and learning how to cope. Presented in such a small but cosy venue only adds to the intimacy of the piece. It will be interesting to see how the show is developed in the future. An enjoyable experience well worth seeing.


Reviewed for thespyinthestalls.com




is at The Blue Elephant Theatre until 2nd November



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