"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Sunday, October 06, 2013
BENEATH STILL WATERS
Apple Collective at the Secret Sixth Floor Theatre
above the charity shop and the nail bar, security sit and watch,
while we sit and watch them live out their tangled lives.
is pop-up theatre at its best: site-specific, locally produced.
Hempstead developed the piece from personal experience, through early
one-act versions and workshopping sessions. It's clear the cast –
moonlighting Chelmsford Theatre Workshop actors in the main – have
worked productively on the characters: the banter and the badinage,
the relationships and the resentments are meticulously observed.
up the team at Still Waters, Joe Kennedy's wonderfully irascible
Steve, struggling with nicotine patches and an unruly workforce:
Anthony [Danny Segeth] Dirty Dancing with his broom, Suzie [Ruth
Cramphorn] whose relationship issues are a key plotline, and later,
Jason [Ben Fraser], Scots Mike and an unemployed bookseller.
last character, Will, was superbly done by Dean Hempstead – vaguely
bohemian, elbow patches and idealism. He adores Suzie, knowing, as we
all do, that she's heading for trouble with her new partner Craig
[one of an impressive trio of characters from Bruce Thomson]. It
takes a somewhat improbable plot twist [involving Alex Holton's
nicely unpleasant hoodied Youth] to open her eyes …
writing is economical, and often inspired – the riffs on Shades of
Brown, the significance of biscuits. There were plenty of laughs, but
we cared about the people too. And the scene changes, choreographed
to music [Florence and the Machine ?] rightly earned their very own
round of applause.