By J.J.Bond, directed by Mikyla Duran
15th February 2012 at The Casa, Hope Street
Burjesta Theatre has a number of worthy aims, firstly to provide local
audiences with ‘original and dynamic work’ and secondly to
encourage people to ‘get involved’ with acting by running
weekly workshops each Wednesday at the Casa on Hope street. They form
a part of a welcome explosion of home grown theatre groups who perform
in a variety of interesting venues and for this they should be applauded.
‘Gathering Jack’ is their first in house production which
attempts to present an ambitious story loosely based on the idea of a
serial killer, a kind of ‘gentlemanly Victorian killer’. The
play opens quite effectively with Anthony Gormley’s statues shrouded
in darkness on Crosby beach and features other local landmarks as the
setting for our serial killer. There were some interesting touches, such
as basing the action around a homeless centre which was in the business
of transforming people’s lives and also unwittingly offered them
up as victims!
However the pace was a little uneven and lacked suspense, with the identity
of the killer revealed quite early on. I felt that the writing lacked
credibility as characters were not really developed and not always believable.
For example I can’t think of many young work experience employees
who would work late at a deserted homeless centre on the evening of Valentine’s
day! The ending rapidly descended into melodrama which again just didn’t
ring true as the scenario was a little far-fetched, but could have worked
if only more attention had been paid to character development. Some of
the performances were really effective and generated genuine sympathy
when they met their untimely deaths, and I do appreciate that a number
of the cast are amateurs and have limited acting experience, so did their
best with a demanding subject matter.
The audience were generous in their support and with a more effective
script I feel that Burjesta Theatre can only go from strength to strength.
Comment left by dazza on 23rd March, 2012 at 11:59
Iwent to see the play on the opening night with a group of friends and really enjoyed it. And I'm sure everyone who attended enjoyed it. There was laughter, screams and a roving applasue at the end and in between the breaks. Burjesta Theatre had gone out of their way to make the audience feel at home and comfortable by setting out the tables and a curry was included in the price making the casa, not the most comfortable venues, more bearable). The play was great pantatmine, and was in no way intended as a series theatre piece. This I think is what this reiew has missed.