Stage Review: The Frights @ Alphabetti Theatre (16.5.16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Running at Alphabetti Theatre, The Frights packs a real punch! Brilliantly directed by Ali Pritchard; Louise Taylor’s play cleverly contrasts two couples at different places in their relationships. Christina Berriman Dawson is wonderful, playing a hurt and confused Hanny, who has returned home after being held in terrifying captivity and is partnered with the brilliant James Hedley as Luke. The couple reminisce of their love, recounting their fears, hopes, dreams and anxieties. Berriman Dawson’s acting further details the story with her marvellous expressions that cut dry instantly between scenes. A superb contrast is made by Sally Collett and Jacob Anderton playing a fantastic down-to-earth couple that we all know. Between the couples, there are moments that we can all relate to, no matter what the circumstances. The Frights is a show certainly worth catching before it moves on.

As part of their outreach programme, Alphabetti Theatre invited over twenty writers to submit short plays in response to The Frights. From those plays, The Ties That Bind by Amy Mitchell and Fresh Start by Arabella Arnott were chosen.  Skilfully directed by Matt Jamie, both short plays are well performed by the lovely Rosie Stancliffe and bold Luke Maddison. A delicate tale of loss, memories, love and secrets The Ties That Bind utilises the theatre space, sound and lighting for maximum impact.  Stancliffe draws the audiences’ attention to her fingertips, bringing to life tender, bittersweet and optimistic moments. Mitchell’s writing shows great promise and will be one to watch in the future. In a razor sharp contrast, the witty and insightful writing in Arnott’s Fresh Start, has a tongue-in-cheek take on modern day dating. Maddison is highly entertaining as a ‘lad’s lad’ with a wicked streak as Arnott’s play reminds all ladies that a slick of lipstick and high heels is not enough to erase our digital footprints. Refreshing and entertaining, Jamie’s directing has drawn a magnetism out of the actors on stage, with finishing details to a dressed set that make this first date all a little too real for comfort.
The Frights, The Ties That Bind and Fresh Start at Alphabetti on until Saturday 21st May

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