Amy McEvoy reviews Wranglers' Macbeth and Peter Pan by the Ermington Players
I MUST confess this is the first time I have seen a Shakespeare play. Having studied Shakespeare in school I have suffered from the typical teenager's reaction to his great works. However the Wranglers' production of Macbeth was faultless, captivating and could transform GCSE English lessons forever.
I enjoyed the contrast the Wranglers managed to create. They included lighter moments such as a dance which showed their true diversity. The Porter (Ryan Wilce) created humour with his performance of the 'knock knock knock' speech.
Lady Macbeth (Anna Salisbury) had the audience mesmerized. I found I couldn't take my eyes off her.
Macbeth (Andy Deacon) and Macduff (Liam Salmon) created intense action in the fight scene. This was well choreographed and very convincing. Andy Deacon bought depth to the character of Macbeth as is required to play such a complicated man.
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The Witches (Jessica Bailey, Taryn Fay and Fran Spree) chose an interesting interpretation of the characters by not opting for the traditional hag-like portrayal. Instead the Witches were mysterious and seemed to have emerged from the earth. The way in which they moved set them apart from the human characters.
The staging complemented the performance well by being simple and composed of neutral colours. The costumes were equally as successful. Overall the production was impressive and enjoyable.
The Ermington Players' Peter Pan avoided typecasting by having the young Indian, Tiger Lily, played by mature Carolyn Knight. The usual portrayal of the role was completely ignored by having Tiger Lily as a free spirited, randy young lady which created more humour than I could have imagined. Her Father, Lean Wolf (Mike Evans) didn't quite live up to his name and wasn't much good at keeping his unruly daughter under control. Mr Smee (Richard Knightley) was a joker throughout the performance.
The rock-style band was a brilliant way to encourage a younger audience.
Many animals appeared in this show with Bruce Robinson cast as The Crocodile. He skept the audience amused with his tales from bonnie Dundee.
The attention to detail in the scenery was wonderful and brought the audience into the heart of Neverland. I was impressed and amused with their ingenious solution to flying. The audience were laughing so much that the lines for most of the scene were not heard.
I would have liked there to be a little more pace at the beginning of the performance but once the cast found their stride there was no stopping them.
Well done to Ellie Sibley, winner of the design competition, who made a fantastic front cover for the programme.