Sunday 25th September

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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
Irma Vep
Lord and Lady of the Manor. Photo by Tony Nandi.

The Jack Studio Theatre: The Mystery of Irma Vep

Rating:

Showing until January 4, 2014 at The Jack Studio Theatre

I welcomed the traditional yet cordially open stage as we entered a spacious studio to the strains of Beethoven Seven. The set by Karl Swinyard tended to the naive but lent to an already-established atmosphere attested by a strike of lightning behind frosty French windows. Get the picture?

Hilarious and stupid, ‘Irma Vep’ doesn’t pretend to be great literature though makes much pretence to it. Written by Charles Ludlam in the style of a ‘Penny Dreadful’ its sole purpose seems to be dreadful in every sense; a love-child of ‘Carry On Screaming’ and ‘The Uninvited’ (a dash of ‘Cleo’ and Karloff come later). Miraculously, middle-aged men dressing as stiff Victorian ladies still does the trick: the sight of Lady Enid in a pink frilly nightie fartingly funny. The ultimate two hander, it overdoes every feminine affectation in excruciating detail. And in the two-way-mirror the butch-drag is just as over-accommodated. Jonathan Kemp and William Kempsell delight in outdoing the other although both emerge victorious.

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Category: Comedy