UKTW - 25 years online
CORONAVIRUS: All UK venues closed on 16th March 2020 and there is currently no planned general re-opening time. Some venues are showing on-line productions or outside productions - even a few covid safe internal ones and a number of tours and shows have been rescheduled for later in 2020 and throughout 2021. A few pantomimes may be possible but we await a relaxing of the rules for theatres from the Government.

Less Than a Year

5
Sun, 16th Jan 11
Helena Enright's enthralling Theatre of Testimony piece directed by Jessica Beck

Less Than a Year - reviewThis is not the sort of theatre that falls into the category of "light entertainment", in fact arguably it is not entertainment at all but nor does it seek to educate, well not explicitly. What is does do, is deliver a story that will touch pretty well every member of the audience in one way or another, promote discussion of what is often seen as the undiscussable and, in my opinion, help people (or prepare people) to face similar life challenges.

If that sounds a bit of a wild claim let me explain .... this is a Theatre of Testimony piece, by which we mean that the words the actors speak are those of a real life couple describing the worst of all possible things, the slow painful death of a daughter. Unlike documentary the flow of the story is not interrupted by "interpretation" or other views, nor is this really a re-enactment ... it is just the re-animation of the raw and powerful words and emotions of an ordinary couple describing how they failed to cope with their daughter's condition and how they were failed, repeatedly and almost unbelievably badly, by much of the medical profession.

What I found most moving in this piece, written by Helena Enright from discussions and interviews with the family, is that while they didn't direct blame anywhere they were angry with the way they were failed, and in the way that they themselves failed their own daughter. The father and mother are played by Charlie Coldfield and Helena Enright and we see them, in their own words delivered falteringly and completely believably, through the 10 months from their daughter becoming ill to her death. Jessica Beck's direction has a light touch allowing the story to be told without distraction (a distinct improvement over TV docu-style!) and allowing the emotions to be felt without the story becoming depressing or maudlin.

This is not a sob-fest, it is not even a depressing piece, somehow, out of this terrible situation the sheer normality and simplicity of these people's emotions makes it a fascinating and compelling story to watch. Indeed it is that very normality and the matter-of-fact delivery that makes the real emotions around the death itself so stunningly effective - the emotional journey of these people is so powerfully depicted by their attempts to be strong that the few times that we see them crack produce a completely unforced sympathetic response from the audience.

My own father's death from sarcoma (not bone in his case) and my mother's attempt to give him (and us) one last holiday which resulted in an air ambulance trip home and his death shortly afterwards meant that this piece spoke very deeply to me ... but listening to the audience afterwards it was clear that everyone felt some connection with the piece ... cancer will hit one in three, no family wont have had to go through something that this story touches on, even if the sufferer survives ....

This is a short run of a powerful piece and I for one am very glad I had a chance to see it ...


Search Reviews/News


Newsletter

Find us on-line

Facebook
SeatChoice/UKTW page
Twitter
SeatChoice/UKTW tweets
Linked-In
UKTW company page and Robert Iles
Blog/Website
SeatChoice and Robert's personal


Latest News & Reviews

11th Aug 20 :: Review: Wonder Walk
A walking theatrical experience in the woods
5
6th Jul 20 :: Government Rescue Package
Government to provide a £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts.
23rd Jun 20 :: Utilita Live From The Drive-In
A range of live drive-in concerts across the UK.
3rd Jun 20 :: ATG Theatres
Extending the closure date.
22nd May 20 :: The Drive In
New drive-in venue in North London
6th Apr 20 :: Closures Update
Update on some of the closures
1st Apr 20 :: Edinburgh Fringe
Cancelled
16th Mar 20 :: Coronavirus Update 16/3
Updates on show and venue closures.
15th Mar 20 :: Endgame
Early closing
14th Mar 20 :: Review: Carmen
Welsh National Opera on tour, seen in Bristol
3
13th Mar 20 :: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
Opening postponed.
3rd Mar 20 :: Review: Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes
2020 touring production seen in Bristol.
5
26th Feb 20 :: Review: Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Touring production seen at the Bristol Hippodrome.
4
26th Feb 20 :: Review: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee's play seen at The Tobacco Factory Theatres.
5
17th Feb 20 :: Review: Mamma Mia
Touring production seen at the Mayflower Theatre.
4
12th Feb 20 :: Review: Musik
The Billie Trix Cabaret seen in London.
5
5th Feb 20 :: Review: Band of Gold
Touring show seen at the Mayflower Theatre.
4
31st Jan 20 :: Review: Persona
Seen at the Riverside Studios.
4
31st Jan 20 :: Review: Swan Lake
Birmingham Ballet Sinfonia seen at the Mayflower Theatre
4

Most Popular Stories

2nd Jan 20 :: 25th Anniversary
UKTW enters its 25th year ...
3rd Jun 20 :: ATG Theatres
Extending the closure date.
22nd May 20 :: The Drive In
New drive-in venue in North London
14th Mar 20 :: Review: Carmen
Welsh National Opera on tour, seen in Bristol
15th Mar 20 :: Endgame
Early closing
23rd Jun 20 :: Utilita Live From The Drive-In
A range of live drive-in concerts across the UK.
16th Mar 20 :: Coronavirus Update 16/3
Updates on show and venue closures.
6th Apr 20 :: Closures Update
Update on some of the closures
6th Jul 20 :: Government Rescue Package
Government to provide a £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts.
11th Aug 20 :: Review: Wonder Walk
A walking theatrical experience in the woods

SeatChoice Blog

Public Campaign for the Arts launches Arts Map
The Public Campaign for the Arts has launched a major new online platform, creating an unprecedented support link between UK citizens and their cultural organisations.
World’s First COVID Safe Drive-Inside Theatre Venue Opens in Manchester
Creators of immersive musical theatre productions, Beyond Theatre, have created the world’s first Covid compliant drive inside theatre venue in Manchester.
Scenesaver
A website describing itself as a “Netflix” for performances in off WestEnd, Off Broadway and fringe theatres from all over the world.
Nationwide, volunteer-led, public campaign underway to support Britain’s imperilled performing arts industries
The Public Campaign for the Arts brings together people of all ages, all backgrounds and from all parts of the UK, to express the immense value of arts and culture in their lives, and to call on the government to rescue the cultural industries.
Winner of Theatre Book Prize 2020
Biography of Vivien Leigh wins STR Theatre Book Prize.
London Theatre Direct & Apple Wallet tickets
London Theatre Direct introduce Apple Wallet tickets in a West End first.
BoV - Change the Future
Bristol Old Vic launch a "give a gift in your will" campaign
Samuel French scripts on-line
Launching today, a new website for Samuel French Scripts.
Captioning Awareness Week
West End and other arts venues to take part in Captioning Awareness Week during November.
Pantomime Coins
Ultra-Rare Pantomime 50p coins to go into circulation this festive season.

SeatChoice theatre blog»

© Dynamic Listing Ltd, UK
1995-2020
PRIVACY and GDPR
Tickets by SeatChoice
Listings powered by Dynamic Listing Ltd
Multidomain certificate installed
Developed and Maintained by RMJIold

Cookies in Use