Reviews

Enjoy reading reviews past and present.

 

 

September 2015 - Hyde (Rheinzeitung)

September 2015 - Hyde

On the 28th August David Davies presented his one man show Hyde in the Little Overcropft Theatre at the historic Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk.

The theatre being small and intimate is ideal for a one man show and especially for a show overlain with intensity.

David Davies impersonated the Dr Jekyll of Robert Louis Stevensonʼs dark novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. His script is lifted almost verbatim from the Statement that Stevenson has Jekyll make late in the novel to explain his actions. Stevenson has Jekyll expound a theory that every person has two sides to him. The good side which is usually that presented to the world and a dark side which usually remains hidden.

Dr Jekyll was outwardly a well liked upright member of his community but wanted to explore this darker side of himself. He developed a potion which when perfected enabled him not only to become, but also to go about, as that other: the small, animalistic, hideous Hyde capable of depravities which are not revealed to the reader save for one murder. Yet Jekyll evinces no remorse for the wrongs he commits albeit as Hyde. Ultimately Hyde takes over Jekyll who becomes Hyde at will without Jekyll taking the potion. Jekyll cannot escape from him.

In our time we would consider this personality change as schizophrenic but in schizophrenia the patient suffers a (sometimes extreme) personality change but unlike Jekyll does not physically change his (or her) appearance. The treatment for the condition is drugs which prevent the alter ego from taking over. Schizophrenics I have known hate the drugs and sometimes suspend taking them because they feel their manic other personality is their real me and that by drugs they are forced to live as someone they are not. So Stevenson made Dr Jekyll explore what is now a well known condition.

The actor in Hyde is offered the opportunity to become another character before the eyes of the audience who usually only meet fully formed characters on stage. It is difficult to effect this change minus the physical differences that the book describes without falling into the trap of eye-rolling and facial contortion typical of an actor portraying madness. Nonetheless David Davies gave the audience a Jekyll who outwardly was not quite as sane as he appeared - who would sensibly develop a potion to unleash his dark inner self - while his Hyde always was Jekyll and the lack of extreme make-up merely emphasized this fact.

Its an unsettling piece because Stevensonʼs core feature that we harbour within us all another darker side is an uncomfortable truth which too often we refuse to recognize. This performance forced us to do so because David Davies was always recognizably Jekyll and with his fine Shakespearean voice and technique made a realistic presentation of an almost ordinary man who took too far the notion of knowing thyself.

PP
September 2015

2015 - Hyde im Innenhof des Cavazzen

“The final statement of Dr Jekyll” im Stadtmuseum Lindau

David Davies‘ packendes Ein-Mann-Stück nach der berühmten Erzählung von Robert Louis Stevenson
“In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil”.

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2012 - The Taming of the Shrew

Review of The Taming of the Shrew
     "Traditional Shrew aims to please"
by Christopher Edmonds on 11/06/12

GB Theatre's Shrew at Exeter Castle - 06/06/12

The sky was overcast but that didn't take the shine off GB Theatre's The Taming of the Shrew at Exeter Castle on Wednesday 6th June. This old fashioned number has long been called a problem play because of it's tricky finale where Katherine who is by now 'tamed' extols the virtues of being obedient to her 'Lord and Husband'.

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2012 - Much Ado About Nothing

REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing
MARK NAGLAZAS
January 8, 2013, 5:00 pm



REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing - The West Australian
 
A direct line can be traced from the rom-coms of the 1930s and 40s, most especially the genre's scintillating screwball variant, back to the comedies of William Shakespeare.
Hostile, seemingly mismatched lovers; witty, rapid-fire repartee; upper-crust milieu; playful attitude to romance and sex; disguises and mistaken identities - all devices so beloved by The Bard - were given a sizzling spin by such masters of the form as Frank Capra, Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges.

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2010 - Romeo and Juliet

Review of Romeo and Juliet
     "Beautifully realised, atmospheric and immersive"
by Louise Phillips for remotegoat on 10/02/10

 

On a freezing cold February evening there's no better idea than making your way to the wonderfully warm Holy Trinity Church for Guildford Shakespeare Company's first indoor foray.

Renowned for their innovative use of beautiful and unusual locations around the city, Holy Trinity is the perfect setting for this intramural debut, exploited beautifully by GSC in a production which is intimate, atmospheric and intense.

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2009 - Much Ado About Nothing

British Shakespeare Company ; July 31, 2009 Yorkshire, UK
Director : Robert J Williamson ; Starring :
Reviewed on : 2009-07-31 14:05:15 ; Reviewed by : Amelia Crowley


 

Much Ado About Nothing is the first of two plays being performed in one tour by the British Shakespeare Company. As a set for this production Kirkstall Abbey could have been tailor made: the old stone walls with their arched doorways and expanse of green made, with the addition of a bench and two plant-strewn statues - the better to hide behind - a perfect set for Leonato’s gardens as well as for the road in front of his house and was, when touched by flickering torchlight, an eerily beautiful setting for Hero’s “tomb”. Scenery alone, of course, cannot make a play.

Much Ado as a play is fatally easy to perform as all wit and no substance, the quips, jests and retorts of the bantering characters being emphasised to the loss of any greater depth. This did not happen here.

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2007 - Henry V

A double bill of al fresco Shakespeare

14:46 Saturday 11 August 2007

THE grandest of theatre stages would struggle to compete with Kirkstall Abbey, home to the 13th annual Leeds Shakespeare Festival.

After all, vast pots of money may fund the most elaborate of sets, but can't buy the historic atmosphere of a 12th-century ruin.

This year, with what is now a virtual pilgrimage to within the abbey walls, The British Shakespeare Company more than complement their spectacular surroundings with a wonderfully crafted performance of As You Like It.

Their offering of Henry V, however, fails to forge the same seamless relationship between actor and stage, with the BSC's impeccable comic timing perhaps emphasising a less adept intuition when it comes to one of the Bard's historic heavyweights.

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