FringeReview UK 2017
Holly Penfield creates an evening dedicated to Judy Garland's music.
On a moored barge Natasha Langridge re-enacts her own In Memory of Leaves updated from a run last year to include this year’s tumultuous events. This is a fine, necessary work inevitably in progress. Let it settle in the water a bit more, and glitter.
Prenger’s brought depth, perfect timing and the art of the comic pause. Above all her orchestration of risk, raunch and recovery comes like a peroration, an enormous yes as someone over in Hull once said. Launched into comic stardom beyond her singing roles, Prenger like Shirley Valentine is ready for anything now.
This puts New Venture Theatre onto a new footing. Six new plays – two by actors taking part - and six directors, all developed by NVT’s nurturing over the past year culminates in this short festival. There’s If it was an annual, even bi-annual event, it would change things in the south east.
If Rob Drummond’s /Bullet Catch/ charmed and alarmed at NT’s The Shed and Brighton Festival in 2013, here Drummond starts his odyssey of political immersion in a prison cell; for throwing a punch at a neo-Nazi. Opening three days after the Charlottesville murder, the timing’s eerily prescient and more charged than even Drummond might have imagined.
Informative, infuriatingly endearing it’s also Cohen’s first masterpiece, however small-scaled. For that reason too, it holds a particular freshness, a discovery of a remarkable voice. Or two.
Stefan Zweig lends himself peculiarly to a theatrical dimension. It’s over in a blink. If you’re at all near, you won’t regret the Print Room’s opalescent sliver of magic conjuring the best out of this production.