theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
Imogen Stubbs’ first play provokes an ambivalent response. Bursting with energy and boasting an excellent ensemble, it nonetheless fails to convince as a drama, frequently meandering and making its suitably Shakespearean span of three hours hang heavily. Deriving its title from Henry V’s patriotic invocation, it’s a tale based upon the real-life Osiris Repertory company. Armed only with their passion for drama and a battered old Rolls Royce, this all-female ensemble spent much of the Second World War travelling the country, bringing Shakespeare to the provinces.
Stubbs’ Artemis Players are a disparate group led by the resourceful and indefatigable Hetty (Juliet Stevenson.) Casting Stevenson in such a role is a wise move; as ever, she’s excellent, bringing both strength and poignancy to Hetty’s character and almost making one forget the drama’s inconsistencies by the power of her performance.
The play’s first half explores the formation of the group, their struggles for any degree of artistic credibility and first tentative productions. John Napier’s detailed set vividly conjures the makeshift conditions under which the company struggles, their aim to stage inspiring drama in any environment. After this has been established there’s a lot of time dedicated to the private revelations of various characters and, although one can see how balance is being sought, the play’s focus does tend to wander frequently off-course. Stubbs uses many pertinent Shakespearean quotes but too often there’s a feeling of the play simply being top-heavy, packed to the brim with just too many disparate plot threads. With director Trevor Nunn at the helm, it’s impossible not to feel a greater degree of objectivity could have removed any superfluous material and allowed the play’s potential to shine through. It’s a pity, for the cast, by and large, are great: Marcia Warren provides the company’s endearing maternal backbone with Kate O’Mara and Caroline Blakiston impressive as the acerbic Helen and kindly Jocelyn respectively.
Amanda Hodges © 2004
Originally published on R&V on 11-07-04
Food & Wine
~ my everyday life through the lens of my camera ~
Helping Improve Lives
Vintage Inspired Paper Crafts & Digital Design
A journey through life in Southwest France
Historical Fiction with a French Flavour
Living life in the in-between with a slightly visible disability
Writer. Poet. ELearning Instructor & Narrative Designer: Researching Fandom Through Literature, Folklore, Game Studies, Pop Culture & Visual Media.
Daily Reflections from My Home and Garden
The Power of Story
Unlocking the Door to Your Past
Not just a blog, a philosophy
by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'
Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.
The Real England is a concise, direct, and not-so-gentle window into the depths of the leftovers of the world’s once greatest empire. It is told from the perspective of one lone (or not so lone) long term visitor. It informs one of the dregs of the country and helps to explain quaint British oddities such as the crack addicted chav.
Artists, Writers and Visionaries Blog on the Unique and Ordinary
Collected works and other excuses from a textile obssessive
has random thoughts
Airborne, Seadwellers and Landlubbers Lives
Working with dead people
Writing - Loving What I Do and Doing What I Love!
the darker side to sedge808
Photographs, music and writing about daily life. Contact: email@example.com
Creative Intuitive from New Zealand
Family Saga Fiction by Adrienne Morris
Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!
theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013...
Candid cultural comments from the Isles of Wonder
Horror, Science Fiction, Comic Books and More
Traveling the World Through Others
A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.
Art, Literature, Poetry, Politics and a little History
Travel and Wildlife Adventures
Writer & Author
it's all about the story, possums...
Observations of the illusion through the eyes of wonder...
Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields
Poetry, Other Words, and Cats
The Bridge between two countries
A lifestyle blog with a little bit of everything.
A personal exploration of autism from a brother’s perspective, including family relationships, philosophy, neuroscience, mental health history and ethics
Entertainment, travel and lifestyle blog
Founder of the Three Things Method of Storytelling