Thursday, 17 November 2011

Buried Child

Walking in the studio to see a crop field and hearing the sounds of a soul/country song I was immediately reminded of the sublime set-up of Lieutenant of Inishmore.And what followed was a performance that added yet another high credit to director, Paul Kerryson’s, portfolio.Leicester’s Curve theatre is currently showing their latest production, Sam Shepards’ Buried Child, and this is one show not to be missed.

Vince and new girlfriend Shelley arrive at the remote farmhouse and walk straight into a terrifying night to remember. Why doesn’t anyone know who Vince is? A dark and sinister secret is set to be revealed.
The suspense builds in just one setting, with startling actions and surprising revelations. There’s certainly no place like home in this engrossing and disturbing thriller.

Former Stars in their Eyes presenter, Matthew Kelly, and Home and Away star Michael Beckley, who played McMurphy in Curve’s production of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest earlier this season, brought the characters of Dodge (Kelly) and Bradley (Beckley) to life.

As the stars of the show, it was clear that their experience and talents out-shone the younger cast members of Catrin Stewart playing Shelley and Lloyd Thomas as Vince.Stewart and Thomas’ sometimes exaggerated expressions made the second half seem transparent but their performance improved in act three which saw the audience hanging on to every word to find out the buried family secret.

Jane Lowe portrayed wife Halie as a sinister character who was only interested in pretence and denial. Her awkward relationship with Father Dewis, played by Gary Lilburn, was uncomfortable to watch but yet it was hard to look away.The middle son of the family, Tilden, played by Matthew Rixon, had a hard task of being a man who had regressed to being almost childlike because of something traumatic from his past – but what that past experience was exactly was something the audience had to wait to find out.

His on-stage mannerisms were eerie and he moved with caution just like a timid child. The most shocking part of the show came at the end of act two with a disturbing scene between Bradley and Shelley. After the lights when down and came back up again for act three, the audience were thrown into bewilderment by how the characters were going to recover from what they had just witnessed.

To everyone’s surprise act three started as the show had begun, with the characters in a daze and in denial.A huge part of the show was the spectacular set design by Paul Wills and lighting by Rob Halliday.The crop field was used as the roof of the farmhouse by turning it at an angle and lifted into the fly tower.

Whilst Halliday used lighting to illustrate characters ‘upstairs’ in the house in act one and three.
You have until December 3 to see this show so make sure you book your tickets today!
Tickets and information: / 0116 242 3595

Photos by Johan Persson

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Curve theatre seeks child stars for musical Gypsy

Leicester’s prestigious Curve theatre is searching for 16 child stars for their spring 2012 musical - Gypsy.
The theatre, based in Rutland Street, announced their spring season programme last month and is excited to have won the rights to revive this classic which was last seen in the West End during the seventies.

Curve is looking for young people under the age of 16 who look between the age of 9 and 11 to come to auditions on November 17 at 6pm-8pm for girls and November 21 at 6pm-8pm for boys. The applicants must be no taller than 5ft, have a very strong singing voice and the ability to tap dance.

Paul Kerryson, Curve’s artistic director, said: “These are very important roles, Baby June in particular must be able to knock us out with her enthusiasm and volume, she must be able to do the splits and baton twirling would be an advantage!”

They will recruit two teams of eight parts (4 girls and 4 boys) who will rotate performances during the run from March 10 – April 15 2012. The roles available include:

• ‘Baby June’ to look between 9-11 years old, needs to have a loud singing voice, tap ability, and can do the splits
• ‘Baby Louise’ needs to look between 9-11 years old and have singing and tap ability
• Two other girls - to look between 9-11 years old, singing and tap ability
• 4 Newsboys or boy show dancers who look between 10-12 years old who need to be able to sing and dance, tap would be an advantage

Closing date for applications is at 12pm on Monday 14 November 2011.
Rehearsals for these parts will take place in the New Year so applicants need to be available from mid-January 2012 to the closing date of the show, 15 April 2012.

This jewel of American musical theatre is inspired by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and charts the story of Mama Rose and her determination to live out her dreams of stardom through her two daughters, June and Louise. Curve’s revival of this classic musical fable will star Caroline O’Connor as Mama Rose. Caroline is a multi-award-winning actress who continues to grace the stages of Broadway, the West End, the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House.

Gypsy was last in London’s West End in 1973. Securing the rights to produce the show is a coup and ticket sales demonstrate that this Curve production is already attracting musicals fans spanning the length and breadth of the country and even overseas from Ireland.

Young people interested in auditioning can register their interest by emailing