Famously, little is known of Shakespeare the man, although we actually know more about him than other playwrights of the time. The gaps in our knowledge are taken as an open invitation to screenwriters, novelists, and everyone else to invent whatever they like to make their own version of him. Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman chose to straightwash the bard in their screenplay for the Oscar-winning 1998 film – Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day is widely recognised as having been written for a man. The screenplay takes plot points from Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night, with the idea that these life events inspired the plays, when in truth Shakespeare’s plays were adaptations of pre-existing stories. Not that this matters if we take this version at face value. Lee Hall’s stage adaptation of the screenplay holds true to the spirit of the film, and there’s a lot of fun to be had recognising versions of famous quotes. Even if you’re not well-versed (ha) in the Works, there is much to enjoy in this historical rom-com.
What strikes you first off in this sumptuous production is the set, which evokes the Globe Theatre and serves well for other locations. Milling around pre-show the cast give us previews of their costumes. As ever the costume department at the Crescent goes all out. This is a fabulous-looking show; Rosemary Snape and her team should be commended.
Oliver Jones is a handsome and endearing Will Shakespeare, managing to be both cerebral and bumbling. Alisdair Hunt makes an impression as his rival-mentor-friend Kit Marlowe. The notion that Marlowe fed Will some of his best lines under a balcony is more akin to Cyrano de Bergerac!
Bethany Gilbert absolutely shines as Viola de Lesseps who disguises herself as a boy in order to secure a role on the stage. Her delivery of the verse is second-to-none, although the play misses the opportunity to make the most of Will’s apparent attraction to someone of the same sex, as in Twelfth Night, say.
The ever-excellent Jack Hobbis is, have a guess, excellent as ever in his portrayal of harried theatre manager Henslowe, with superb timing and a performance that is just the right side of Carry On. The mighty James David Knapp absolutely storms it as the larger-than-life actor Ned Alleyn, while Joe Palmer is suitably entitled and horrible as villain of the piece, Wessex.
Also great are Mark Thompson as the bullish financier Fennyman who taps into his artistic side when he lands the role of the apothecary; Phil Rea as a deliciously bombastic Burbage; and Pat Dixon-Dale as Viola’s long-suffering Nurse. Jaz Davison’s imperious Queen Elizabeth is not without nuance.
There are many pleasing moments from supporting players: Charles Hubbard as boy-actor Sam; Dylan Guiney-Bailey as a bloodthirsty Webster; Niall Higgins as the Nurse within the play; Simon King as a riverboat cabbie…
A taut consort of musicians and vocalists provide period music to underscore the action and to cover transitions, and it all sounds perfectly lovely under Gary Spruce’s musical direction. There are a few moments when the music almost drowns the dialogue – luckily Mark Thompson is often around to tell them to shut up!
Director Michael Barry keeps the action well-focussed on an often busy stage – the period choreography is charming and doesn’t get in the way of the action. Keith Harris’s gorgeous set is backed by beautiful scenic projections, with Kaz Luckins’s fight direction adding authenticity as well as excitement.
A fine and funny fabrication that demonstrates the high quality production values on which the Crescent prides itself. All in all, an evening of excellent entertainment.
Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 12th July 2022
Bruce Norris’s award-winning piece is a play of two halves. Set in the same house, acts one and two are fifty years apart, with two sets of characters. We begin in 1959, and Russ and Bev are packing up to move out. There is a kind of cosy sit-com banter between them, but soon a thread of darkness is revealed. Their lives have been blighted by tragedy: their son, home from the Korean war, and unable to live with the atrocities he committed, has killed himself. Concerned parties gather: the local clergyman, the local busybody… they’ve got wind that the buyers are ‘coloured’… Whoops, there go the property values.
What starts as amusing becomes savagely funny. Director Stewart Snape gets the rises and falls, the crescendos and clashes pitch perfect, enabling his excellent cast to shine. The mighty Colin Simmonds makes the naturalism seem effortless as mild-mannered Russ, who is provoked to explosive invective, in a well-judged portrayal. He is strongly supported by Liz Plumpton’s excitable Bev, while James David Knapp is exquisitely monstrous as the racist busybody trying to put a stop to the sale, and Paul Forrest is delightfully irritating as the dog-collared Jim. Conducting herself with supreme dignity is Shemeica Rawlins as the housemaid, Francine, with Papa Anoh Yentumi making a strong impression as her husband Albert.
Fifty years later (what a long interval that was!) and the tables have turned. A young white couple wish to demolish the house, now dilapidated and covered in graffiti, in a bid to gentrify the area, despite objections voiced by people who have grown up there during the intervening decades. There are parallels to be made with white people taking over the land and property of others, I suppose, but the discourse in this second half is not as clear cut as the first. The characters are preoccupied with language, particularly when someone (James David Knapp again, as a different, equally monstrous character!) cracks an inappropriate joke. Thus, the topic shifts more to what is considered offensive and who is ‘allowed’ to be offended, before a final coda takes us back to the 50s, and the doomed son writing his suicide note, a reminder that people do much worse things to each other than make jokes, but also that such jokes are also a form of violence and oppression.
It’s an electrifying evening of theatre. The play provokes more than it answers, which is how it should be, in my view, and there is a lot of fun to be had seeing the cast play roles diametrically opposed to their first-act personas. Grace Cheadle’s ‘woke’ Lindsey couldn’t be further from the insipid Betsy from act one! There are echoes in the script, turns of phrase, lines of argument, that reoccur, suggesting that people haven’t, society hasn’t, changed. Which is a depressing thought, but it’s delivered in a hugely entertaining way by a company of actors of the highest quality.
When she has nowhere else to go, fading Southern belle Blanche Du Bois rocks up at her sister’s seedy place in the ironically named Elysian Fields – her sojourn turns out to be more like a visit to Hades. From the get-go, playwright Tennessee Williams indicates that all is not how it seems, making us privy to the lies Blanche tells others about how little she drinks. It then becomes a matter of time for her sordid secrets to come to light, and in true Williams tradition, for the spectre of homosexuality to rear its degenerate head (although it is only ever implied).
As Blanche, Annie Swift captures the airs and graces of the role, keeping the mannerisms and declarations on the right side of camp, lest the character become a laughingstock. As the fantasies with which Blanche shields herself are stripped away, she becomes increasingly unable to cope with grim reality, resulting in mental decline. Doing the bulk of the stripping is brutish brother-in-law Stanley (Ollie Jones) a domineering primate, bully and domestic abuser. Jones is fine in the role; his Stanley has a sharpness rather than a brooding quality. Beth Gilbert is excellent as the put-upon but feisty Stella, the bridge between her sister and her husband, between Blanche’s former life and this new, unwelcome and unsettling one.
There is strong support from Nicole Poole as Eunice and James Browning as Steve, a couple of neighbours. Even the most minor roles make an impression: for example, Destiny Sond as a neighbour, and Patrick Shannon as a young man making charity collections. Joe Palmer is altogether splendid as Harold Mitchell, the antithesis of Stanley, all politeness and good manners – until he can’t have what he wants.
The production is enhanced considerably by sultry lighting (designed by Patrick McCool and Chris Briggs) casting horizontal shadows across the scene, while vibrant sunsets paint the window. Andrew Cowie and Ray Duddin’s sound design, so effective at creating atmosphere of the street (we can hear the eponymous transport!), really comes into its own during moments when Blanche is becoming unhinged and we hear what’s going on in her increasingly deluded state.
James David Knapp’s direction creates some lovely moments of tension around the table, and the outbursts of violence are neatly handled. Everything comes together for a blistering final act, and we are left to consider who has it worse: Blanche being taken away or Stella left behind with a man who doesn’t stop short of sexual violence. Blanche’s troubles stem from the realisation that her husband was ‘a degenerate’ – everything she has done since his suicide has been leading her to this slippery slope, captivatingly portrayed here by Annie Swift and a powerful ensemble.
The Crescent’s summer touring production this year is Shakespeare’s enduring romantic comedy with a supernatural twist, and I am lucky enough to catch an indoor performance rather than brave the vagaries of the British summer!
This is an enjoyable, accessible production – Director Georgina Evans opts for modern-dress on a simple set of slender branches and fairy lights; although, I do find the draconian laws of Athens at odds with the familiarity of the attire. I think more needs to be made of the sheer unreasonableness of the patriarchy here (Marry whom I tell you to or be celibate for the rest of your life) and poor Hermia (Charlotte Thompson) needs to be more terrified/upset/resentful/what-have-you at the onset, so that when Lysander (the excellent Jacob Williams) steps forward with an escape plan, it comes as more of a relief, a desperate measure for desperate times. Hold up, I did say this is a comedy… In Shakespeare, a comedy is where the problems of the drama are overcome by the characters (as opposed to tragedy, where the characters are overcome by the problems). After this dark and severe (and potentially tragic) opening, the fun and frolics in the forest should come as sharper contrast. Evans has an eye for comic business, and it’s the little details, the interplay, the fleeting expressions, that bring the joy to this production.
Ollie Jones is Duke Theseus – he warms into the role as the play goes on, lacking the imperious tones and power of Andrew Cowie’s magnificent fairy king Oberon (special mention to Angela Daniels for his striking costume and headdress). Aimee Ferguson is a subdued Hippolyta, yet this conquered Amazon is not shy to express her views, through action, while Shady Murphy’s Titania is a dynamic presence. Les Stringer brings gravitas as the unreasonable Egeus, softening into a kind of Polonius figure when he is finally overruled by the Duke.
Charlotte Thompson has her moments as Hermia – particularly the slanging match with Jessica Shannon’s marvellous Helena. Jordan Bird is a pleasing Demetrius, vying with Jacob Williams’s Lysander – both do the lovestruck fool bit rather well. Dayna Bateman is thoroughly charming as the hardworking Puck, whose meddling in mortal affairs does not always go to plan.
The Mechanicals are a likeable bunch, led by ‘Rita’ Quince (Nicole Poole) with Scott Wilson’s Flute blossoming into a sublimely ridiculous Thisbe, towering over a diminutive Pyramus (Crescent stalwart James David Knapp having a crack at Bottom, so to speak). Knapp’s comic instincts are sound and I’d say he could afford to be even more bullish as Bottom dominates the group’s rehearsals.
While there are some line-readings that don’t quite come across, on the whole everyone handles the language rather well and with conviction, which is no mean feat when there are scenes comprised of rhyming couplets. Of course, the play-within-a-play provides the most laughs – it’s one of the funniest scenes in Shakespeare, in all theatre, probably, and the company do an excellent, raucous job with it. There’s a lovely celebratory feel to the closing moments and a rousing song to finish. Funny and sweet, the show would perhaps benefit from starker contrast between the dark and light to intensify the impact of both.
Top Bottom: James David Knapp (Photo: Graeme Braidwood)
Director James David Knapp brings his own adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic to the stage in this ponderous production. This is an Alice who wonders about things rather than at them, as she is presented with riddles and cod philosophies from almost all the strange characters she encounters.
Ruth Waterson, making her Crescent debut, gives an assured performance as Alice, playing her as a serious, thoughtful child. She comes to life when she joins in with the other characters: the caucus race, for example, and the Lobster Quadrille. If Alice, our guide through this weird land, is so serious, the characters she encounters should be weirder, crazier, but they’re a bit po-faced too.
There is a lot to enjoy from the large cast. Marcus Clarke’s Dodo shakes his tail-feathers and has a mad spark in his eye; later, his King of Hearts is delightfully dotty – he could do with a crown, though. Erin Hooton’s twitchy White Rabbit, John Paul Conway’s snooty Knave, Niall Higgins’s Mock Turtle… Standing out is Molly Wood’s Duchess, a bedraggled eccentric, convincingly bonkers. Jordan Bird’s Mad Hatter makes an arch, camp double act with Carl Foster’s March Hare, along with a fearsome French Dormouse (Ella-Louise McMullan) keeping them in check. There is a delicious portrayal of the mad Queen of Hearts by Alice Macklin, capricious, volatile, tyrannical, truly psychopathic, and bringing a lot of oomph to the second act. But I think I enjoy most of all the trio of gorblimey gardeners, played by Amelia Hall, William Stait and Ronnie Kelly.
James David Knapp provides a new twist in the tale. It’s not easy bringing Carroll’s plotless novel to the stage to make a coherent piece, but Knapp provides a through-line – the material is on his side, with the disclaimer that not everything has to make sense. He has clearly drilled his ensemble of children very well – every one of them is in step and focussed, which is no mean feat.
The costume department has excelled itself. The designs of Dyjak Malgorzata combine what we expect of the characters with some innovative ideas, with the assistance of Vera Dean and Pat Brown to craft these wonderful creations.
The show works best during its absurd moments, rather than when Alice is being exhorted from all corners to ‘grow up’ – when she is clearly the most mature character on stage. The production values, the talent, the ideas are all there. All it needs, overall, is to lighten up, to – as Alice’s draconian mother is reminded to do – let its hair down.
Off her head: Alice Macklin as the Queen of Hearts (Photo: Graeme Braidwood)
Crescent Theatre, Birmingham, Sunday 1st April, 2018
Marie Jones’s comedy has, rightly, become a modern-day classic. It tells the story of the intrusion of a Hollywood film company into a rural Irish community. The filming brings employment prospects, however temporary, and many of the locals take advantage of the opportunity to become extras. We meet Charlie and Jake, two such extras, and through their eyes encounter a host of other characters: other extras, members of the film crew, even a Hollywood star. Jones populates her story with some deftly drawn personalities, but it falls to the cast of two, yes, just two, to bring them all to life.
For this production, we are in the safe hands of two of the Crescent’s most reliable and talented actors. James David Knapp is Charlie, a downtrodden fellow trying to outrun his depression and lack of prospects by palming off a screenplay he has written to anyone who will take it. Knapp is infinitely watchable and the split-second changes between characters hold no fear for him. His Charlie is affable, but his Caroline, the Hollywood diva, is a wonder to behold. Similarly, his British director, Clem, is also brilliantly portrayed.
John O’Neill is Jake, newly returned from the States and trying to restart his life – a kind of everyman figure. O’Neill is good in this part, to be sure, but he really takes off when he becomes production assistant Aisling, castigating the extras through her pink loudhailer. Also, as old-timer and movie veteran Mickey, he brings physicality to the part. In fact, both actors’ use of body language and mannerisms is spot on. The truth of the characters shines through in every detail.
The play demands a lot from its actors and these two deliver the goods without question. There is a sharpness and a precision to the delivery and the quick changes that adds to the humour of the situation. Director Andrew Brooks ensures the pace is maintained and the changes are smooth, to the extent that we can almost see the characters all at once. It’s hysterically funny but there is more to the play than laugh-out-loud comedy. Brooks delivers the pathos well too – when tragedy threatens to disrupt the filming, the resentment and indignation of the locals comes to the fore. A gasp went up from the woman beside me when the significance of the title became clear, in the show’s most poignant scene.
Knapp and O’Neill handle all the requirements of the script with aplomb. They also ride the waves of laughter they generate and handle impromptu audience input with style and with ease.
A thoroughly enjoyable production of a marvellous piece. I haven’t laughed so much on a Sunday afternoon for a long time!
Now, what would be really interesting would be a production performed by female actors…
Extra! Extra! James David Knapp and John O’Neill (Photo: Graeme Braidwood)
Harold Brighouse’s classic comedy first appeared in 1916 when the tide of women’s suffrage was running high. Set in 1880, it tells of Hobson, a widower and owner of a shoe shop, seeking liberation from the three grown-up daughters who work in his shop without pay, so he can have some peace and quiet. He sets to marrying off the younger two – the eldest, at the advanced age of 30 is beyond hope, he feels. This eldest, Maggie, takes matters into her own hands by browbeating the timid on-site shoemaker into marrying her. She then orchestrates matters so that her sisters are able to wed the men of their choosing, manipulating their father until he is worse off than when he started.
The script still sparkles with sarcastic barbs and acerbic observations and feels fresher than any episode of Open All Hours penned in more recent years.
As blustering, boozing patriarch Hobson, the mighty Colin Simmonds gives a majestic performance in a superb characterisation. The timing is impeccable; the nuances and the broader moments provide a masterclass in comic acting. He is matched by two fellow leads: Kimberley Cormack as the level-headed, assertive and somewhat Machiavellian Maggie in a formidable display – you wouldn’t want to cross her; and James David Knapp is endearing and extremely funny as the timid and shy cobbler, Willy Mossop. You wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, so to speak.
Between them, these three bring the play to remarkable life and they are supported by a strong team of players: Notably, Amy Thompson as Vickey, Emily Jane Carey as Alice, Carl Foster as Fred Beenstock, and Damien Dickens as Albert Prosser. There are memorable cameo appearances from Jo Thackwray as the haughty Mrs Hepworth and Brian Wilson as Hobson’s drinking buddy, Jim.
Faye Rowse’s set design evokes the period stylishly and effectively, while Angela Daniels’s costumes reveal not only the characters’ status but also the changes in their fortunes as the action unfolds. Charlotte Robinson’s hazy lighting suggests gas- or candlelight. Director Les Stringer hits all the comedic hotspots while maintaining the emotional truth of the situations.
Thoroughly engaging and massively entertaining, this is a splendid production of a masterpiece and is a ‘shoe-in’ for one of my favourites of the year.
The shoe’s on the other foot. Kimberley Cormack, James David Knapp and Colin Simmonds (Photo: Graeme Braidwood)
Jessica Swale’s adaptation of the Jane Austen novel whizzes along at quite a lick, condensing the action without cutting any of the important bits. What couldn’t be clearer is the chauvinism of the age and the restrictions placed on women: they can’t inherit, they can’t go anywhere alone with a man – both of which are important plot points. Mrs Dashwood and her daughters are dispossessed after her husband’s death and find themselves in reduced circumstances, swapping the family’s grand home for a little cottage near Exeter. Suitors come calling, scandals come to light… On the surface, it’s a frothy rom-com but beneath it’s a biting social satire. The wry wit of Jane Austen powers the exchanges and fuels the dramatic irony of the situations.
Karen Kelly makes a warm-hearted matriarch as Mrs Dashwood – her announcement of her husband’s death is strongly handled. Naomi Jacobs is suitably restrained and fretful as the serious Elinor; Elinor is the ‘Sense’ of the title, ruled by her head; Marianne the ‘Sensibility’, ruled by her heart and her impulses. Both are played well but I would like more contrast between them. Stephanie Cole’s Marianne who could do with being giddier or at least smiling more, especially from the off. When reading poetry, she should really go for it. Charlotte Upton, in a convincing portrayal as little sister Margaret, seems to embody both aspects of heart and head, in her childlike thirst for knowledge and honest reactions to events.
Thomas Leonard looks the part as the dapper Edward Ferrars, but could do with being a little bit more cut-glass in his delivery of Austen’s erudite dialogue. Jacob Williams makes a pleasant Mr Willoughby, while James Lewis amuses as the sarcastic Mr Palmer. Jordan Bird offers strong support as faithful servant Thomas but Adam Ragg’s Colonel Brandon is a particularly fine characterisation: the stiff-upper lip, the British reserve, the gentlemanly qualities. Decency oozes out of him.
The evening belongs to Laura Poyner, superb in both her roles. Provincial Mrs Jennings’s vulgarity and lust for life is in stark opposition to her snobbish Mrs Dashwood – her Fanny is a joy to behold. The stage comes alive whenever Poyner is on and most of the cast is able to match her energy and commitment.
James David Knapp’s direction keeps the action clear in this stylish and slick production that should do well on its tour of other venues. His original music is bittersweet and evocative. Above all, the play serves as a showcase for the excellent costume team at the Crescent, with flawless and impressive work from Vera Dean, Pat Brown and Olivia Barnes. Keith Harris’s simple yet elegant set: three period doorways among a landscape of books proves a versatile backdrop.
An enjoyable comedy of manners that brings a classic book to life in an accessible and entertaining way.
Mrs Dashwood and her daughters. Stephanie Cole, Naomi Jacobs, Karen Kelly, and Charlotte Upton. (Photo: Graeme Braidwood)
Originally produced at the Globe in 2013, Jessica Swale’s drama charts an academic year in the life of a group of female students at Cambridge’s Girton college. It’s 1896 and the ladies are there on sufferance, rather than suffrage – their studies will get them nowhere and they are struggling to be awarded the right to graduate. The fight mirrors the wider campaign for the Vote, and, if the male characters of this piece are anything to go by, they are not a good advertisement for the gender. The sexism is overt, laid on with a trowel, neatly dividing the cast into heroines and villains. Where the line is blurred is when female characters such as Miss Welsh decries her Suffragette sisters, and lecturer Mr Banks sides with the ladies.
Colette Nooney is striking as Miss Welsh, imperious and determined, while Jacob Williams’s Banks is a perfect piece of characterisation, from the look to the smallest mannerisms. They look the part because yet again Stewart Snape’s costumes are spot on.
The Crescent’s Youth Theatre has amassed a strong ensemble, led by Jessica Shannon as Tess, in a remarkably nuanced performance that endears the character to us from the off. She is supported by Neve Ricketts’s well-travelled Carolyn, Jessica Williams’s forthright Celia, and Charlotte Upton’s Maeve – who has a powerful moment when fetched home by her yokel brother Billy (Tate Wellings). Holly Mourbey is effective as Miss Blake and there is humour from Laila Abbuq as Minnie the maid. Jessica Potter makes an impression as strict chaperone Miss Bott.
Of the men, a right bunch of pompous prigs, Julian Southall stands out as Edwards – especially when drunk – and Laurenc Kurbiba makes a suave, caddish Ralph. Villain of the piece is Charlie McCullum-Cartwright as Lloyd – one can easily imagine the Bullingdon Club adopting him as a mascot. Jack Purcell-Burrows shines as the decent, gentlemanly Will, but on the whole, we wince, cringe and flinch at the abhorrent attitudes on display. A dying breed? I would like to think so.
James David Knapp directs with an assured hand, providing crescendos of high drama among the rituals and routines of college life. The humour is well-timed and, for the most part, the cast handle the heightened language and stuffy accents with aplomb. Keith Harris’s attractive set of Gothic arches divided by bookshelves serves to represent both the interior and exterior of the college, while Chris Briggs’s lighting adds to the sense of location and the atmosphere.
A challenging play well-presented, this production of Blue Stockings has legs.
Nick Dear’s adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel that spawned modern science fiction will be familiar to many from the landmark National Theatre production directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cumberdick Bendibatch. Here, in the Ron Barber studio, the show is inevitably scaled down but director Jenny Thurston ensures the play loses none of its power.
At the heart of the show is a towering performance from Andrew Cowie as the Creature. From his ‘birth’, we see his cognitive development – he becomes an inquisitive toddler before our very eyes. Nick Dear keeps the Creature at the centre of the story and so we empathise with him rather than fear him. The Creature is the outsider, the ‘different’, hated for his appearance – his only recourse is to take revenge on the society that shuns him, and the creator who abandoned him.
James David Knapp is excellent as Victor Frankenstein, uptight and twitchy – he becomes unravelled as though he is the one held together by stitches. His scenes with Cowie are electrifying – even if you know the story. The tension is palpable.
The two main players are supported by a tight ensemble who come and go in all the other roles. Charlotte Ireland makes an appealing Elizabeth, Victor’s fiancée; there is some amusing character work from Tom Silverton and Richard Constable as a pair of Scottish graverobbers; Paul Harris’s kindly blind man, Bethany Wyde’s cheeky Clarice, Charlotte Upton’s sweet William, Rosa Pardo Roques’s earnest Agatha, Sam Wilson’s devoted Felix – all populate the story with the best and worst of humanity. It is very telling how they are all united, even the decent, hard-working ones, in their rejection of the Other.
Thurston delivers the macabre humour, the shocks and the tension but above all the thought-provoking aspects of Shelley’s novel: the nature of Man, the pursuit of scientific discovery, the genie out of the bottle…
There are puppets, rabbits and dogs and so on (designed and made like children’s toys, by Jenny Thurston and Richard Constable), which observe much of the action, reminders of Nature, but echoing Victor’s unnatural creation. They are for the most part highly effective, but I think the birds could be handled with a little more finesse. Faye Rowse’s economical set serves the locations well – a table piled with sacks suggests a snowy mountain range, and illustrative projections remind us we are watching a story from a book. The costumes, as ever at the Crescent, are superb. Pat Brown and Vera Dean capture the period and, as the Creature’s intellect develops, the clothes he wears change too, civilising him – on the outside, at least.
Chris Briggs’s lighting creates atmosphere, patches of enlightenment in the murk, and the inclusion of snatches of music by Messiaen underscores the action with discord. It all adds up to a Gothic setting for Shelley’s fable, framed by the device of a group of nervous lantern-bearers opening the book and, at the end, slamming it shut. We must be careful where we shine our light, the production says.
All in all, this is unquestionably the most powerful production I have yet to see at the Crescent, superbly presented and performed, thrilling, moving, funny and heart-rending. Andrew Cowie’s magnificent Creature will haunt me for a long time to come.