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Review: What is it about the night?

Harlow Playhouse / Fri 31st Jan 2014 at 07:25am

IT IS not often that you go to a performance at the Harlow Playhouse and you are led to the bowels of the building.

That is intriguing and sure enough, the whole performance of What is it about the night by Catherine Ireton is a left of centre, brave and fascinating look at life in the theatre through the eyes of a backstage gopher.

It is the type of unconventional production that you might see at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival but having said that this reviewer doesn’t recall ever seeing a show quite like this.

Irish singer-songwriter/actress Catherine Ireton takes the audience on a journey around the back of the theatre and a journey into the life of a young woman who loves the life of the theatre, even if her job is a succession of menial jobs from ironing costumes to a single line in a play.

This is a very clever production that engages and involves the audience without any worrying audience participation. It is a tour around the back of a theatre and a journey into a young actresses hopes and dreams. There is a sense of poignancy in her performance, a fear that she is never going to fulfil her dreams.

As Catherine performs her monologues, a play can be heard on the PA system and gives the feel that there really is a play going on in the main auditorium.

One of the real treats is hearing Catherine Ireton sing. Catherine has a beautiful voice that meshes hope and regret in a beating moment. Infact, if there is one regret then it is that we did not hear more singing.

This was a bold but successful piece of theatre and one must applaud the Harlow Playhouse for its role in the production.

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