Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Audience Review - My Mate Fancies You

Activ8 ran a ‘reviewing theatre’ session with two of our new youth theatre reps ( Molly Stevenson and Matt Gorton). They visited three of our studio shows and then we looked at how to put together a review. Here it is...
My Mate Fancies You
The Bill Naughton Studio Theatre, 11 June 3009

My Mate Fancies You was a comical piece of theatre by ‘Loudmouth’, an educational theatre company based in Birmingham.

It aimed to inform children in year 6 about puberty, growing up, friendships, and going to secondary school.

The story gave a realistic idea of changing friendships as you go up to secondary school and helped children feel like they were not alone.

We were pretty surprised to hear them talk about ‘sticky dreams’ and ‘periods’, we didn’t learn that stuff until year 8! We think it’s great that this aims to teach them earlier.

Technically, the set involved no more than 2 hat-stands, 2 tables and four chairs. There were no lighting effects and simple costumes. It didn’t have the wow factor however, but it did make us wonder what was going to happen, and in that way, it was interesting. They used the space very effectively. The same 3sq metres became a bedroom, a bus-stop, a school, a street and the school disco.

The actors were hilarious. They portrayed children really well. Our favourite moments included a childhood game we’d never heard of called ‘sumo’ and an 11 year old boy falling flat on his face as he attempted to learn a ‘girl’s’ dance routine. Eventually you forgot they were adults.

The forum workshop at the end added an opportunity for direct involvement from the audience, giving them confidence to open up and express their ideas. It also gave the actors a second chance to think about things from the audiences point of view.

Even though it was schools piece, it worked well in the theatre. Adults enjoyed it too. The old couple in front of us loved it …they were nodding along in recognition throughout the whole thing. I reckon the Octagon should do more of this kind of thing but maybe advertise in schools with posters. The free tickets made a big difference, loads of my mates are put off coming to the theatre by having to pay.
Thanks for your comments guys and glad you enjoyed it.


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