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Review: Eastern Angles’ Production of ‘The Ballad of Maria Marten’

 Please note that this play covers themes which some viewers may find disturbing and therefore, this review also considers issues such as abuse, domestic abuse and murder. We would always suggest researching the play before attendance to ensure you feel comfortable and safe.  The Ballad of Maria Marten is a terrific play written by Beth Flintoff and directed by Hal Chambers. I started going to … Continue reading Review: Eastern Angles’ Production of ‘The Ballad of Maria Marten’

Review: Exeter University Shakespeare Company’s ‘The Duchess of Malfi’

he Chapter House at Exeter Cathedral was lit by candles on Monday’s chilly winter evening, ready to host the cast and crew of Exeter University Shakespeare Company — who have been rehearsing since late September — as they prepared to take Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi onto the stage. The Chapter House provided both an intimate setting for the tragedy — with dialogue often occuring in the aisle, fully immersing the audience into the plot — and yet also presented the audience with the grandeur and awe that naturally comes with the divine space, the balance of the two perfect for such a production. The rows of chairs were adorned with fake ivy which, coupled with the grand nature of such a space, transported the near-full audience into a realm of Jacobean atmosphere. Continue reading Review: Exeter University Shakespeare Company’s ‘The Duchess of Malfi’

Review: The Body Remembers

RAZZ’s BAME officer Ana Anajuba reviews Heather Agyepong’s solo dance performance which took place at Exeter’s Phoenix earlier this month. Created and performed by artist, dancer, and actor Heather Agyepong, The Body Remembers is an innovatively interwoven piece of theatre that utilised visual and audio elements to present a deep exploration of trauma and movement within the body, specifically in Black British women. It delves … Continue reading Review: The Body Remembers

Review: Jack Dean and Company’s Hero and Leander

As live theatre beings to re-emerge, slowly and uncertainly, from the state of non-existence forced upon it by the pandemic, it is the fate of smaller companies and venues that are causing the industry so much concern. The long-running, prestigious West End shows seem to be finding their feet once more, but there is still a sense of uncertainty regarding the future of smaller theatre productions, which remain fundamental to the professional development of many talented performers. However, this is why it was so refreshing to sit in the intimate ‘Secret Garden’ of the Exeter Phoenix and watch Jack Dean & Company – a young organisation founded in 2020 – present their take on the tragic Greek myth of Hero & Leander. Continue reading Review: Jack Dean and Company’s Hero and Leander

Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

Out of all of William Shakespeare’s plays, Taming of the Shrew is one of the trickiest plays to perform from the perspective of the whole creative team. The play, which at the time of writing was seen as a lighthearted comedy, could now be described as ‘problematic’ at best. The premise of the play, a ‘shrewish’ young woman, Katherine, being ‘tamed’, or more accurately, abused, by her husband into submission, would now make any modern viewer shift uncomfortably in their seat. Continue reading Review: RSC’s The Taming of the Shrew (2019)

Review: Uncle Vanya

Anton Checkhov’s 1899 play Uncle Vanya resonates with modern audiences differently when compared to the play’s intended audience, and this is epitomised by the latest production. The cast is filled with well-known faces, although these actors are more familiar swinging a metal detector or flying an aeroplane they adapt to the heightened tone, creating an exaggerated realism that does not permit the audience a moment … Continue reading Review: Uncle Vanya

RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

On Sunday night, I put on my make-up and dusted off a dress to go to the theatre. The unusual aspect was that it was a virtual one, where Zoom became the stage, but still a theatre nonetheless. It was the first reveal of Theatre with Teeth’s witty comedy, Hair, and with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a full, in-person performance on hold for the foreseeable future, the talented members of the society decided to virtually showcase extracts from their upcoming production. Written and directed by Leila Lockley, Hair tells the story of a young, aspiring Black actress, Ali (Marion Ojua) in her pursuit to break into the industry. However, Ali quickly discovers that the people around her, particularly casting agents, are far too concerned with appearances and stereotypes, as she faces multiple microaggressions and instances of discrimination. Following the performance, I had the privilege of chatting with the cast and crew of Hair to discuss the rehearsal process and the inspiration behind this moving play. Continue reading RAZZ Interviews the Cast and Crew of Theatre with Teeth’s Hair

Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Confined to the safe and cosy space of my bedroom, Out of the Blue Theatre pierced my heart with their wonderful production, IMAGINARIUM. Out of the Blue has beautifully transformed theatre into a progressive, interactive, audio-immersive journey of the self. With no visual aids to help bring the production to life, you are dependent upon your own imagination. And so, the production establishes a collaborative process between listener and actor. This revolutionary creative form, which I can only describe as an amalgamation of theatre watching, meditating, and podcast listening, has cultivated a profoundly personal exploration of the unknown, which makes the impossible imaginable. Continue reading Review: Out of the Blue Theatre’s IMAGINARIUM

Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Katie Wood is a fourth-year Drama student at the University of Exeter who has a particular interest in creating sustainable theatre at the production level. In this interview, we discuss barriers to sustainable theatre, as well as what steps have been made within the university to mitigate student theatre’s impact upon the environment. Continue reading Bleed Greener: Greening the Arts, Sustainable Theatre at the University and Beyond

Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello

Iqbal Khan’s Othello is a haunting rendition of psychological unravelling. With a stage bathed in blue light, a set reminiscent of a gothic church, and songs performed like elegies, Shakespeare’s controversial tragedy undergoes a thematic dismantling. Khan’s Othello recontextualises the play’s depictions of brutality and injustice. Costumes wander in a realm between modern and timeless, and additional dialogue involves the multi-racial community exchanging racist insults using current language. Most notably, the dynamic between Othello and the manipulative Iago shifts, with the compelling casting choice of a black actor as Iago. Continue reading Review: Royal Shakespeare Company: Othello