Thursday, 3 November 2011


"Invisible is a funny, moving and topical portrayal of the world in flux"

The audience found their seats and the production started with an effective and loud crowd sound effect. There were two long lights arranged above the set in an angular position, like an arrow shape. As the sound grew louder these lights had colours shooting from one end of the light to the other. In the middle of the floor was a raised platform with ramps on either side of it. At the back of the Drum stage (In the Theatre Royal) there are double doors, which they had opened and placed a frosted piece of glass, about 1 metre tall by 3 meters wide, across the doorway at head level.
When the actors were on the stage they themselves move the furniture and props around. This looked really effective as they did it so effectively with the sound. The sound design was excellent and really added power to the piece. The production was about the lives of 6 very different people, some immigrants coming to the UK for a better life and others from the UK and struggling with day to day living (mid life crisis etc).
An effect I thought was very powerful and beautifully executed, was the use of the frosted glass at the back of the stage, they had a light shining from the right backstage, so when on, the actors/actresses that walked behind the glass had a ghostly effect shining through the glass. They used this effect a lot during the immigrants ringing companies for work and their struggles to live in the UK. The frosted glass symbolised the unclear phone calls they had and how distance the operator could be.
I found the play all quite dark as it referred a lot to why human beings are really here and what is our purpose. It also reflected on peoples dreams but their miserable reality, and the audience knew in most of their cases, they would never live out their dream.
The club scene was very effective. Lights around the raised stage in the centre changed from pinks to blues to greens etc, and the two lights flashed all sorts of colours. The actors and actresses danced in slow motion with a very muffled club sound effect. This looked amazing, the slow motion dancing and lights almost sent me into a trance.
The play was lightened up at the end with the message of we should all hope and dream but we should focus most of our attention on the most valuable things in life, like connections and relationships with others and the fun times which can be found through the bad.

Albert and Equiano

"I found this one man show spellbinding: it confronts the audience with questions concerning

life, meaning, purpose and justice."

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I went to a small local theatre to watch Albert and Equiano. I was intrigued because I had heard it was a one man production with just I was sceptical, however always enjoy a surprise.
I was surprised.
An old man came onto the stage wearing a caretaker outfit, all that was on the stage was a chair and lots of props around it. As he did his job of cleaning etc, he discovers a painting of a Nigerian man. The story was that the Nigerian man's spirit came through the janitor to share his horrendous experience as a slave from 10 years old, and the brilliance of him becoming a 'free man'. One could not quite think how an old white man could play a 10 year old, Nigerian child...but he did, perfectly. He played out many characters, including, cockney sellers, posh ladies, lords and other Slaves from the 18th century. Each character was captivating and I genuinely believed he was the character he was playing, it was beautifully narrated and acted out. The props he had were used inventively, the same cloth he used for the headdress of one of the posh ladies was also used as a ships sale. He engaged amazingly with the audience, and even had some of the audience sitting on the stage which had created a 'theatre in the round'. Myself and the audience were gripped from start to finish.
This production was great research for myself as I am looking into the importance of a set within the theatre. This gentleman only used props but still had us amazed and I personally think if a set had been constructed, it would have taken away our imagination for the areas he was in. He gave us a lot of narrative to work our own sets out.