Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov studio is the UK Premiere of The American Plan by Richard Greenberg, set in the predominantly Jewish resort of Catskill in the 1960s. This is a dazzling production of a brilliant play: the script is Wilde-ly witty and full of surprises, the set elegantly simple, and David Grindley's strong direction allows all five superb performances to shine. Interestingly, the women seem to get the best lines ~ beautiful trapped Lili (Emily Taafee), an Alice-through-the-Glass whose mind is a sort of masked ball - you never know who you'll be dancing with next, enigmatic Olivia (Dona Croll) who says dryly being known is not part of my job, and most awesome of all Diana Quick as Eva, the mother whose simpering evil is breathtaking. Social setting ~ the title refers to a full-board, all-you-can-eat, booking plan at the resort which says much about clientele aspirations & values ~ is fascinating and often satiric but this is primarily a psychological study of one family, and powerfully shows that great drama needs very little on-stage action if there's good story well-told. My only reservation is the final scene, which expositionally knots up loose ends already subtly tied, which could have been ommitted to send us out into the night still stunned by a sublime piece of theatre. But it was close to flawless anyway.
Gonzo Moose arrived at the Brewery this week with their current historical pastiche What the Dickens? inspired, loosely, by the bicentenary of Victorian London's most famous novelist and his penchant for fantastical characters and complex plots. We watch agog & aching from laughter as sleuthing reporter Charles Dickens (co-founder, artistic director, co-writer Mark Conway, on fantastic form as always) meets with pickpockets and plotters, grave-robbers, soft-hearted tarts, hard-hearted lords and an enormous owl ~ all hilariously created with multi-costume change by Chris Porter and Emily Murphy. It's clever, classy, and immensely funny, and they're back at the Rondo next month so if you miss out in Bristol, book there now!
And finally... summer officially begins at the end of this month, so if you're beginning to think longingly about holidays, and wondering where to find a fantastic location with fabulous food, good company and a chance to write too, then let me direct your attention my website which has links to two sensational options: SKYROS HOLISTIC HOLIDAYS on the Greek island of Skyros and CORTIJO ROMERO in Southern Spain are both marvellous venues which provide a wide range of creative courses as well as entertainment & relaxation, so as well as Finding Your Voice with me, there are many other options to browse... :-)