Tuesday 04th August

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Marriage
Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

Marriage @ Jack Studio Theatre

Rating:

Another capacity crowd at the Jack Studio Theatre welcomed a new run of Gogol’s ‘Marriage’. Loaded with wisecracks from the start, the story, such as it is (translator Howard Colyer compares it to ‘Waiting for Godot’) is a grower. Sunny Jeon’s graphic-y design, de-constructed, Surreal, opens-up the space. You almost feel inside the setting whilst simultaneously looking-on. Is the same dichotomy shared by the players?

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Category: Comedy
Flight
David Bromley and Michael Edwards each deep in conversation. Photograph by Jonathan Bradshaw.

The Jack Studio Theatre: Flight

Rating:

Showing until February 1, 2014 // Ballast Theatre

It’s trademark setting-the-scene at the Jack as we part our way through dense smoke that actually smells smoky. A Rodchenko-style motif spills across the floor, the one constant element in this evening of clashing-coercing characters. The “dream-like quality of some of the passages” proves simultaneously startling and intoxicating, autumnal layers unpeeling like onion-skins, the dimly-lit stage remaining mostly dim. No dream but a nightmare fallow by shared truths of ‘humanity’ and serial metaphors of war. ‘Flight’ does, I imagine, accurately present the muddle and mess of conflict and its effect on communities and communal infrastructure. Howard Colyer as translator and adaptor together with director Scott le Crass succeed in sustaining its message.

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Category: Culture
Howard Colyer photographed by Martin Slidel
Howard Colyer photographed by Martin Slidel

Howard Colyer: Taking Flight

Howard Colyer is a South London based playwright who has enjoyed many stagings of his works on the London fringe and notably at the Jack Studio Theatre in Brockley. I caught up with him in advance of his series of Russian translations to be produced throughout the year.

First on the books is the current production of Bulgakov’s ‘Flight’ which as Howard explains benefits from “a fascinating range of characters… fleeing the Red Army… trying to survive; each scene in a different setting and, as described, a dream-like quality of some of the passages.” Does Colyer identify with the cohort? “Khludov’s marvellous: the mad general with the ghost to talk to. Khludov and his ghost I think make the play. The National did it with an actor… I think it’s better with the ghost conjured by the mind of the audience.” Indeed. To allow the audience to ‘play their part’ is an art in itself. Meanwhile, Howard is more than pleased with his long-running association with the Jack. “Kate Bannister and Karl Swinyard have done a very good job to produce a very good theatre.”

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Category: Culture