Friday, 7 November 2008

A brand new blog feature....

As you are probably aware I am the main contributor (for 'main' perhaps read 'only') which is a shame. Not only because even I get tired of my own voice (that, my colleagues will find hard to believe) but also because I have a whole bunch of witty, amusng creative types here at the Octagon that I am sure can knock up a word or two. Oh and then there's Fraser!

When he is not influencing the minds of young people as a classroom assistant the lovely Fraser gallantly mans our Ticket Office. He is not short of a thing or two to say, has little in the way of fancy airs and graces or ideas above his station and usually has an interesting viewpoint on what happens on stage! Oh and he thinks he's funny. I actually think he is funny too but I would never tell him that. So at our last press night as he told me what he thought of the show, I asked him if he could be our man on the inside and whether he would write his thoughts on the shows for the blog - an alternative review if you will.

Well Fraser is obviously a better teacher than he is student. I received numerous excuses as to why he hadn't done his first review. Having now recovered from the national paper shortage that he tells me is in full swing and and then rescuing his words from the jaws of a dog, I am delighted to present to you his first review.....okay his first review with a fair bit of editing as Fraser is also a little, let's say, risque with his analogies (think Russell Brand prior to Manuel-gate). So here is the 'universal' graded review. If you want the PG rated one then you need to speak to him yourself....

Pre (Show) Amble
The anticipation before a show is always exciting. Will it be a modern masterpiece that leaves you more than a little excited? Or will it have all the allure of watching paint dry? Who knows, but that’s the beauty.

Working on the Box Office you’re privy to a glimpse behind the scenes, feel the buzz of the show, and witness the variety of customers that buy tickets.

Take for example the kindly elderly lady who was a bit unsure of the production. You have to be able to read the people, feel what their needs are. Well, one mention of old fashioned underwear, bouncing and high spirited comedy galore, the twinkle in her eye flashed SOLD to the saucy madam! It’s going to be a mischievous show me thinks.

The Lights Go Down
Ah, the first thing you catch sight of is the set. Bit sparse. They’ve stripped this one down, but look trampolines, anything that has trampolines in must be worth a look, surely? Think how much better your office would be with trampolines, I bet there’s a stirring in your gut. Could it be a masterpiece!

The actors are already milling around, this sets up a relaxed atmosphere, feels less formal, good, good. They’re an assorted bunch of odd-bods, I mean that in a nice way! It becomes clear why the set has been stripped back, to frame these larger than life people, crafty that is. I think a gaudy set would be like too much sugar for a diabetic and send you into shock.

There’s highlight a-plenty through out. The physical comedy works a treat, there as stupendous sword fights. It involves the actors miming whilst the sound effects are made for them by the other cast members. It is ten times better than if they had just actually used swords and fought, the action works on several planes, stuffing the stage full of movement, t’was a hoot.

Plus there is perhaps the greatest sex scene ever seen at the Octagon, between the character Columbina (Joanna Holden) and Arlecchino (Dudley Rees), no need to avert those sensitive eyes though, there isn’t copious amounts of flesh on offer, just manic energy, loud music and a trampoline workout (no really).

The cast keep it bobbing along, as you can always tell when it looks labored, luckily there’s no weak link in this cast. There’s usually one lurking amongst them, dragging them down (the Liz Hurley effect I think it’s called). Nick Haverson plays the twins of the title, and it’s his boundless enthusiasm and energy that forms the solid centre. He plays it big, bold and funny, just right. Anything less and it would have been like a truck struggling to get up the hill with too small a motor.

Before you know it lights up and 2 hours has passed, no time for the clock watchers here my friend, oh no.

Time to get other people’s impressions of the show. Most of the people on ticket office go on the opening Friday, they are always like unofficial staff do’s i.e. can get a bit messy! There’s young Gools, actually called Julia, but they’re ten-a-penny in the Octagon, common as muck you could say. The name, not the person, she’s a corker!

Gools in her world-wisely astuteness reckons it’s great to come buzzing out of a show on a Friday night. There have been one or two shows that, while great, make you want to introduce Mr Head to Mrs Oven. But not this one...

Other comments come rolling in, “I love Florindo’s accent”, “His entrance was amazing”, “I’m dragging my friend along to come again”. People are talking about it. Always a good sign.
All in all a mighty fine night. Shortly after came the alcohol induced blackouts….

So I heartily recommend it!


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