AUDIENCE FEEDBACK AND EXPERIENCES
SOME GIRL(S) REVIEWS
Susan Jones, from the English Speakers' Circle, who organised the SOME GIRL(S) performance at the Volkshochschule, Düsseldorf on 13th April 2018, wrote us a lovely review, thank you as always Susan!
"With Neil LaBute’ s “Some Girl(s)’, the five convincingly portrayed characters, along with the group’s usual, delightfully pleasing and competent set and costume design, took this exciting young company to new heights. This was a remarkable triumph in what is only their second year of bringing quality English-language theatre to our increasingly international city. Long may it continue!"
Bob Muscutt, who came to a performance of SOME GIRL(S) on 13th April 2018 at the Volkshochschule, Düsseldorf also wrote a varied and thorough review of the show for us, many thanks Bob!
"The play reminded me, both in structure and content, very much of another Neil LaBute play performed at the VHS a few years ago, The Shape of Things. Although both plays deal with the idea of fiction being a form of deceit, and therefore morally suspect, I’d guess that Some Girls was chosen because of a connection with the #metoo movement, giving it the spice of topical relevance? But my overriding impression was that the play, though indeed involving us in lively moral discussion and entertaining banter, is above all very, very funny, an Impression strengthened by the frequently loud laughter it provoked from a very happy audience. And the title, Some Girls surely derives from the early Stones album with its nacissistic and unashamedly sexist title track?
One challenge for the production is, I imagine, that the play consists of four very similar scenes, each one of the Man talking to a woman in a room on the same topic in each case. The production rose to this challenge admirably, mainly due to the vivid portrayals of the women, each of which was essentially the same role – an ex-girl friend of the Man. The four relationships do differ; we have First Love, Sexual Abandon, Adultery, and the Real Thing. But it was the powerful performances of the female actors that ensured the individuality of each character and made us care so much about them.
The play lasted just over two hours stage time. The Man, played by, was on stage, although there isn’t actually a stage in the VHS room, all that time. I found that impressive in itself. Not surprisingly and deservedly, he received a special round of the very enthusiastic applause at the end of the play. In some ways the part of the Man must be difficult as it is more of a generic collage of largely nefarious male attributes rather than an individual character. Although we are certainly supposed to disapprove of him, he never became simply a cad. In fact, there was a sort of collusion between the audience and the Man, who, I suspect, made a few hearts in the audience thaw a little if not completely melt.
The extremely attentive and appreciative audience reception must have pleased the five actors and production team. They get little help from the physical conditions in the VHS room – though that is a part of the venue’s charm too; and the play, apart from the final twist, has no plot to follow, or to grip our attention. Lots of movement and body language, as well a couple of lustful bed romps, really gave us a lot to look at, important as the play is basically a series of four dialogues, and could otherwise easily become too wordy.
But, English Theatre Düsseldorf, most importantly, it was a great way to spend an evening. Well-written play, imaginative production, enthralling actors. I look forward to your next performance! "
EDUCATING RITA REVIEW
EDUCATING RITA Cast, Rosie Thorpe and Mike McAlpine and Director, Ilya Parenteau with Drama Students from the Goethe Gymnasium, Düsseldorf
Inga Lasys from the Goethe Gymnasium, Düsseldorf came to see a performance of EDUCATING RITA on Friday 26th January 2018 with her class and she wrote a wonderful review for us, that we would like to share with you!
"On January 26 we, the English Theatre Workshop from the Goethe Gymnasium, were happy to experience the play “Educating Rita”, presented by the English Theatre Düsseldorf.
Despite the play being completely in English and entirely consisting of conversations between Rita and her tutor Dr. Frank Bryant, we greatly enjoyed this play and were able to follow the development of the story. We were especially fascinated by the costumes of Rita, that represented her development as an educated woman, but still showed how she stayed true to herself at the end.
This play also gave us a stark contrast to our current play we are developing, as we, for the most part, focus on the physical side of theatre, moving more than speaking. This experience has shown us, that we might be able to have a little more text, if only we work on how we enact the text. In addition, the clear language of the two characters serves us as an inspiration to work on our own skills.
Overall, a great experience we would never think twice about seeing it again!"