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Performance Review: Exeter Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar

Sweeping me in from cobbled streets in an area of Exeter that I’d never set foot before, The Hall was the perfect venue in which to be hurtled along with the tide of political thrill and plotting. Exeter Shakespeare Company’s performance of Julius Caesar hit the mark in making this timeless play relevant and new. Julius Caesar is a Shakespearean classic: conspiracy, drama, and of … Continue reading Performance Review: Exeter Shakespeare Company’s Julius Caesar

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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: Nora: A Doll’s House

A reworking of Henrik Isben’s 1879 groundbreaking play, ‘Nora: A Doll’s House’ by Stefi Smith was beautifully adapted by Exeter University Theatre Company in this production. The play features three simultaneous versions of Nora in 1918, 1968 and 2018 – with the years aligning themselves with significant moments in the feminist movement  To execute what is essentially three versions of the same play at the … Continue reading Review: Nora: A Doll’s House

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

Curtain Call in COVID-19

The last time I saw live theatre was back in late 2019, when I was sat watching Paul O’Grady in drag performing in the pantomime version of Goldilocks. Despite my preconceptions of watching a pantomime as an adult, it was surprisingly rude and worthy of genuine laughs out loud. I left the theatre entertained and desperate to tell any unlucky acquaintance about the past two hours of sex and bum jokes I had just witnessed. Over a year later, it looks like theatres will finally be able to reopen to half capacity on 17 May 2021, and full capacity on that fated day in June 2021. But with the cinema industry hit hard enough to bankrupt Cineworld, things don’t bode well for the theatre industry. Continue reading Curtain Call in COVID-19

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

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