|on the way to work on Sunday with my costume bag and stick|
I finished my shift at work that day, got a taxi into the city and set up my set and lighting on the Lace Market theatre stage with the help of Colin and Rose with box office help from Gill Scott. I had additional help from a bottle of Sanderson's Specific throat gargle. Since I had come back from Europe I had developed a cold and a particularly croaky voice. Not good when an hour and a half of performing awaits one. Sandsons Specific tastes like wet coal but does the trick in terms of clearing the voice box. The evening went well and I was greeted by an additional round of applause when I entered the bar after the show. I stayed behind and chatted to various friends who had come to see the show, all of whom were very complimentary.
The review below appeared online the next day and in the paper on the Tuesday.
One –man show pays homage to Dickensian delivery.
Phil Lowe’s successful rendering of this Dickens’ classic is a development on the highly successful full-play version he presented three years back.
It is admirable that Lowe doesn’t attempt to usurp the author. This is an homage to the writer; a demonstration of his greatness. And it isn’t a play of the sort with one actor who keeps changing hats – that might have been an embarrassing error.
Rather, it’s an entirely engaging dramatic reading, the kind of show that Dickens himself took on the road. At the start, as soon has some jaunty carol music has faded, Lowe enters from the audience, goes straight to the lectern and gets down to business.
The narrative is beautifully spoken, of course. But Lowe also does the characters well, particularly the grotesques. And he evokes the colours the smells and the emotions. He brilliantly brings out the unfailing emotional tug of the story – Tiny Tim is as annoying as ever, but that’s always the price you pay for Dickens.
Storytelling is, alas, no longer a central part of our culture, but on the strength of this piece of work, it should be.
|promotional display at the Lace Market Theatre|