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Posts Tagged ‘Clare Beresford’

Battersea Arts Centre has responded to its fire last year with enterprise and ingenuity, continuing its work and planning its future rather than mourning its loss. The latest in their exciting new adventure is a open-air theatre in a courtyard hardly anyone knew existed. It’s several stories high, all red brick and white ceramic brick with windows on all sides. They’ve added a false floor with trap doors, a metal gallery with standing places and bench seating and more standing places on the ground floor. It’s atmospheric and intimate and I can’t wait to see more here, but for now the equally enterprising and ingenious Little Bulb are inaugurating it with a delightful spoof Victorian melodrama (in what is of course a Victorian building).

Just three actors (Clare Beresford, Dominic Conway and Alexander Scott, who also devised the show) conjure up the story of a plighted bride and her evil abductor. We also meet maid Bertha and a street urchin (obviously) and his dog. The bride’s father is played by a man plucked from the audience (who moved during the interval, foolishly thinking this would thwart a second act reprise) whilst another audience member gets to bring the rat alive. They move through the space, in and out of doors and windows and trapdoors. They even perform in the window behind the ‘stage’. There’s music, of course, with piano, a trio of horns and bells, and some songs. We played along, hissed and booed and it was great fun.

This is the second small scale Little Bulb show since it’s spectacular Orpheus in the now defunct Grand Hall and I’ve loved them both. I can’t wait for more from the company and more in this terrific new space.

 

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