Theatre Review: Turning heads and the talk of
...It’s a rare occasion that a series of monologues, served only by modest (but
precisely arranged and coloured) staging, can evoke such a vivid series of
images and a rich sense of period and personality... What’s striking is this cast’s
obvious affinity with the material. Each of the three members give soulful,
hilarious, full-blooded performances, perfectly embodying their roles, so as to
disappear into them to delicious effect. And this is absolutely by design: in
order to adapt the works for a 90-minute stage production, Italian director
Annalisa Rossi challenged three British, Malmö-based actors from Playmate
theatre to select a single character study from the original series – one that
would play best to their individual strengths....
Standout performance...Of particular note was Graham, as portrayed by Robin Gott...The result being that each role is performed with an immaculate ear for the text by all three players, lending a hyper-real emotionality that, like the heightened social realism of Mike Leigh’s best work, veers toward caricature but never mockery, nor does it fail to hit its mark."
About the play Talking Heads :
These comic and brilliant Talking Heads stories were first written by Alan Bennett for BBC television in the 1980’s and 90’s, arguably his finest writing ever; and performed on BBC television by the greatest British acting talent of a generation - Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton, Thora Hird...
Playmate Theatre Malmö put their heads together to tackle one of the BBC’s most iconic and hilarious cult TV classics, in this new version of three Alan Bennett monologues, adapted by the actors themselves for the stage.
Vanessa Poole plays Lesley, the has-been starlet cast in bikini B-movies of the shadier sort.
Kevin Benn plays the faded antiques dealer who despite his best intentions misses the deal of a lifetime, as well as the hand of God.
Robin Gott plays Graham, the closeted Mummy’s boy, in his plastic mac and sandals.
Poignant, side-splitting, these witty confessions of oh-so-human wannabes and yearning, will have you laughing out loud as you wipe a tear away.
Alan Bennett is one of the brightest intellects of contemporary British writing; Beyond the Fringe, the Lady in the Van, The History Boys, The Madness of George III. Talking Heads is social realism at its grimly humorous best.
Talking Heads has been performed on BBC radio, as international theatre, and translated worldwide. It is one of the bestselling audio book releases of all time, taught at highschools all over the world.
The monologues are cutting, witty, hilarious and poignant, showcasing Alan Bennett's powers of observation, comic timing and exquisite turn of phrase.
David Ives' Venus in Fur
Directed by Jeremy Thomas-Poulsen
At Bastionen, Malmö and at HIT - House of International Theatre, Copenhagen.
A six star review from CphPost
Playmate Theatre Malmö presents, in collaboration with Down the Rabbit Hole Theatre, Copenhagen, :
David Ives' Venus in Fur
With Vanessa Poole as Vanda & Alex Lehman as Kushemski.
"I SO enjoyed it. I was literally, honestly, sitting forward on the edge of my seat... I was excited to see what was coming next… I was drawn in."
"a wonderful performance...no mean feat to keep the tempo going... Excellent!"
"What a play. Wow."
"Impressed and inspired"
".. så bra som ni var... Jag ser fram emot nästa föreställning!"
"GO SEE THIS PLAY. Cast amazing. Script fascinating. Thoroughly enjoyed it."
About the play Venus in Fur by David Ives:
It is night-time in rainy downtown Manhattan.
Thomas Novachek, (played by Alex Lehman) a director/playwright, has
suffered through a long day of abysmal auditions for his adaptation of the
German sadomasochistic novel Venus in Furs, until Vanda, (played by Vanessa Poole) a brash
and pushy actress, stumbles into his audition room. While Vanda shares the lead
character’s name, she lacks her sophistication. However, when Thomas
reluctantly agrees to let Vanda read for the role, she displays a surprising
understanding of the material.
Working through the script with Thomas playing the masochistic male lead, the roleplay between Vanda and Thomas on stage becomes intense and less like acting. The two jump in and out of the script, in a cat and mouse relationship game. The ending of the play is as surprising as it is disturbing.
David Ives’ mesmerizing play explores themes of submission, domination, and power with the fast-paced language he is known for. Reality and fantasy become blurred in Venus in Fur, and the question of “who’s on top” always has a different answer. In the repartee between Thomas and Vanda, the play also has some of the smartest and funniest dialogue in contemporary American playwriting. The play keeps audiences giggling and glued to their seats till the breathless finalé.
A dark, funny, sexy and powerful comedy thriller.
Peter Shaffer's Lettice and Lovage
Directed by Robin Gott
Av Boel Gerell
"...en nisch i regionens teaterliv som behöver fyllas. Med tre uppsättningar på ett år har Playmate Theatre fått upp farten och hittat publiken. Det ska bli spännande att se vilken riktning ensemblen tar i framtiden."
"It was a wonderful performance!"
"...you guys were brillant last night! Your performance was spellbounding, witty, actually hilarious. Well done!
"En föreställning i världsklass här i Malmö på lilla Bastionen med strålande skådespelarprestationer. Engelsk humor och satir när den är som bäst"
"Icke det förväntade och uttjatade utan totalt överraskande! Strålande roligt!!"
"..a great experience: a fun, witty, clever mise-en-scène, full of surprises... Looking forward to seeing more from you guys!"
"Gå se detta!"
"Tack för många goa skratt. Ni var fantastiska"
"Go see these two great actresses...I still can't stop laughing"
"British comedy at its best. Brilliant and witty play and extremely talented cast. Loved it!
"Absolut helt fantastisk"
(Poster [email protected] Monsiváis)
About the play Lettice and Lovage by Peter Shaffer:
What happens when two rather eccentric, intellectual, middle-aged ladies decide to dress up in the basement, quaff Elizabethan cordial - vodka and lovage no less - and unite to battle the uglification of modern Britain - wielding an axe?!
Lettice Douffet, (played by Boel Marie Larsson) theatrical fantasist, is the most eccentric tour guide ever to lead bored American and Japanese visitors through one of England's dullest stately homes. So Lettice decides to embellish its history with increasing abandon and straitlaced Lotte (played by Vanessa Poole) fires her for doing so...
In essence these are two lonely, frustrated women, afraid of becoming obsolete. Bubbling under the surface are allusions to the borders of sexuality, terrorism, alienation, history and reality.
The play discusses the threat of increasing urbanisation and the decay of "civilisation" in an increasingly brutal world. But it does it gently and with whoops of laughter!
Lettice and Lovage is a fast-paced Shaffer comedy. It celebrates English wit, banter, repartee and a love of language, of history and theatricality.
The playwright Sir Peter Shaffer is best known for his hugely popular philosophical dramas, Five Finger Exercise, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Equus and Amadeus, which was turned into one of the most successful films of the 1980s.
With Boel Marie Larsson as Lettice, Vanessa Poole as Lotte and Kevin Benn as Bardolph.
On stage extras: Emily Hope, Gelica Lindén, Michaela Rosenthal, Katene Nicholas, Lena Emmetz.
Costume design: Ingalena Hyrkäs