Thursday, 13 April 2017

La Strada, Bristol Old Vic

I walked into the theatre on Tuesday night completely unprepared for the spectacular performance that would greet me. I had never heard of La Strada before so was unsure what to expect, but as the night progressed I became more and more engrossed in the plot and found myself loving every minute. A story about a young girl and her interactions with the bitter and twisted Zampano, and a daring fool, and how these two men influence and change her life as she tries to make her way in the hostile world. Played by Audrey Brisson, Gelsamina visibly grew as a character throughout the performance. Her childlike innocence and naivety are brought into the spotlight through a heartwarming portrayal of the character, and a wonderful ensemble cast.

Humour is magically interwoven throughout the performance, creating connections between characters and audience as they lead us through their lives. Even though there were moments I was moved close to tears, there were far more times that I was moved to laughter. It was a light everyday humour, snuck in amongst the heartbreak and pain of the characters as they each struggled with their pasts, presents and futures. From Zampano, the mysterious and bitter strong man, to the fool, crazy, content and accepting, they all brought a touch of humour to the performance.

The music throughout La Strada also amazed me. In particular the songs sung by Tatiana Santini, and Audrey Brisson, two radiant vocalists who brought passion to their music and to the performance. The ensemble work within the production was also incredible. At moments the cast would all move as a unit in order to create the motion of the sea, or the bustling chaos of a crowd.

Whether you're young or old, optimistic or jaded, full of Gelsamina's innocence or scared by experience, this performance will delight you in every-way. An age old tale that remains relevant today, in part due to it's understanding that it's our nature to cherish those who care for us even when it's not necessarily good for us to do so. But also, in part, thanks to a beautifully constructed cast.

La Strada: What the Audience Thought

Saturday, 18 February 2017

The Record

Writing a review has never been so hard. I am not sure how to even begin writing in words, what 'The Record' was like. As I walked out of the theatre I did not even know whether I had enjoyed it or not. I was in shock. Was that one of the best performances I had ever watched, or the worst?

I'd have to admit I spent the first half of the performance waiting for the story line to kick in, and trying desperately to work out what was going on. However, as the performance progressed I began to realise that there wasn't going to be any overarching plot, so instead I began to focus on tiny little moments. Moments of connection between people that had met for the first time on stage. Moments that brought the whole performance together into a vivid reflection of the vibrancy and diversity of life, specifically within Bristol.

One specific instance that stood out to me within 'The Record' was when a whole group of people ran around the edge of the stage. They were all of different ages, different genders, different ethnicity's, and it was as a little old man in a suit jogged past that I realised that this whole performance was full of these heartwarming moments that brought people together. I began to notice the organised chaos as each individual moved exactly as they had been directed, both contrasting and somehow complimenting all the others around them.

Sort of lighthearted humour in the simplicity of the movements and my friend and I, found ourselves reenacting a few of the most iconic movements to our friends at school. I think this was a worthwhile and enjoyable experience, and I would definitely advise people to watch something like this as it certainly opened my eyes to a new element of theatre. However, I would be prepared for the repetitiveness of the sequences, and constantly remind yourself that these people had never met before, as they trust-fell into one another, and got lifted across the stage.