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Five star entertainment at Harlow Theatre Company’s One Act Festival

Communities / Fri 25th Apr 2014 am30 06:45am

FOR THREE nights, the Harlow Theatre Company has put on two one act plays as part of the Harlow One Act festival at the Victoria Hall Theatre.

The first play was Walk the Walk. Written by Andy Pragnell and directed by Tony Saxby. It told the story of a restorative justice scheme, where a couple allow the man who broke into their house to come and stay for a couple of days. The couple are an earnest,a little wet-liberal round the edges, adroitly played by Gavin Williams and Kirsty Page.

We are also introduced to their neighbour Bill, played by Steve Foster, who, for this reviewer, was the star turn of this performance. It was as if he had stepped out of a 1974 sit-com and had all the “harrumph” trademarks. Or perhaps these days they call them UKIP candidates!

The crux of the matter, was whether Vincent, played with oikish charm by Jody Randall, was rehabilitated or just playing them. The play held your interest because you just did not know where it was going.

The twist introduces Pamela Self-Pierson. We can’t spoil the plot but Pamela brings such verve and style to the play and is a natural theatrical comedienne.

The play made the audience laugh as well as impress them with the quality of the acting.

If this was a first time, directorial debut by Tony Saxby, then it was a great debut. The timing, spacing, lighting and rhythm of the whole performance was first class.

A joy.

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Neither Here Nor There
Written By Olwen Whymark
Directed by Bernard Moule

We had no idea what to expect with this play. The performers came on like something out of The Crucible (no, not the snooker) and you thought you were in for an hour of witchcraft and showtrials but again, like the last play, there were twists and turns.

What there was for whole time was a superb ensemble piece, that was, to this eye, word perfect and a host to perfect timing. Again, the question was: where were we? In an asylum or a school or in someones’s head. Wherever, we were, this reviewer was transfixed by the quality of the acting that was was measured, emotive, menacing as well as full of dark humour. As a team, they should be proud of themselves but a special mention goes to Helga Kilroy, whose monlogue in the middle must have been a challenge to learn but was a pivotal tour-de-force of the act. It got, quite rightly a standing ovation.

Even in a short time, each performer carved out a character. That takes talent.

You really should see this play. If not this weekend, then we do hope it plays somewhere again.

As YourHarlow is only in its first year, this was our time reviewing the Harlow Theatre Company. What a great company, great spirit and welcome!

For full details of this and other performances, click here

Walk The Walk written by Andy Pragnell and directed by Tony Saxby and Neither Here Nor There written by Olwen Wymar and directed by Bernard Moule.

Tickets: £11, £9 concs via www.ticketsource.co.uk/harlowtheatrecompany/ or 0844 8700 887

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