Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Family Bickerings Takes Centre Stage

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Family Bickerings Takes Centre Stage

Article excerpt

Byline: By Charlie Bramley

The annual Shell Connections festival comes to Newcastle's Theatre Royal from June 9 to 11. It is a celebration of youth theatre, presenting newly commissioned works by top playwrights. This month saw participants performing them in their local surroundings. Charlie Bramley caught the Performance Academy at Newcastle College staging The Shoemaker's Incredible Wife and Shut Up

As a student of the Performance Academy, Newcastle College, I am very familiar with the excellent surroundings here.

And it was in these surroundings that I attended two youth theatre plays commissioned by Shell Connections, an annual programme, which supports the progression of youth theatre across the country.

The first play is a very interesting story called the Shoemaker's Incredible Wife. The main plot is rather predictably centred on the marriage between a 53-year old shoemaker and his 18-year old wife.

The time is the 1950s, the place is America, (although everyone speaks in local accents), and the play is based around the problems that occurred in a typical marriage around that time.

Frustrated emotions, bad communication and prejudice towards women, to name but a few (Nothing's really changed). The bickering between husband and wife takes centre stage and is humorous at times and uninteresting at others. What was interesting though was that the wife was played by three actresses, an idea that sparked conversation in the foyer afterwards.

It was a nice touch as it added an extra dimension to an otherwise flat canvas. My take on it was that the three actresses defined three different aspects of the girl's character; there was the domineering, aggressive side that bossed the husband around, then there was the ultra feminine, flirty side, which teased and seduced her way around everyone and then finally, there was the housewife side that spent her time cleaning and cooking.

This is definitely a good story, but I didn't think it was projected very fluidly. …

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