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A new format for TADS Teens, in that they performed a short play written by a professional writer, then after the interval we were treated to some individual acts devised by the company, and a short play written by Claire Wilden, one of the cast.  This gave the Teens a chance to have a go at devising and directing themselves, under the guidance of Susie Conder, all of which worked very well.

Harmony by Neil Armstrong is a charming story and was well-acted by the cast.

I liked the background music along with birdsong, that set the scene for the tranquillity of Harmony a village where there should be no arguments, until visitors arrive!  There were some good lighting effects, I particularly liked the orange lighting for the wood away from the village, and the sound of rain was very effective.  The effect for the opening of the box was also very good.

Because the whole production was performed in the round the cast had to try and address all areas of the audience, which I felt wasn’t always apparent – so we lost some of the effect as we couldn’t readily see faces and expressions.  

I was impressed by Mollie Bray, Charlie Driver and Alice Wells, as they projected really well throughout.

Mollie Bray played Lizzie, a young girl who goes to Harmony to find her father, a very good characterisation, along with her friend Bez played by Claire McGinn.  The girls created a good modern relationship, using the words well, Claire was suitably antagonistic over the situation.   

Harmony a stone statue, was played by Charlotte Taylor, she looked the part and kept her stance well when on stage.

Nancy was nicely acted by Charlie Driver, and I liked the relationship created between her and her husband Dennis, and also between her, Lizzie and Bez.  

Dennis was played by Reece Bithrey, who gave the part plenty of expression and projection.

I thought Hannah Ridley took the part of Lord Sheringham really well, with lots of expression.

Alice Wills, Claire Wilden, Emily Payne and Luc Durancer, played dual roles and did them well.

With regard to the musical numbers, I liked the duet from Hannah Ridley and Emily Payne, they had choreographed some moves which worked well, and were lively and expressive.

Isabelle Brown showed an unusual and very tuneful voice, she moved around and tried to get the audience involved, which was good.

Luc Durancer presented the performers.

Reece Bithrey was very brave in doing a stand-up routine, but he had some good jokes in there, and got the audience laughing and on his side - well done.

I liked Mollie Bray’s monologue – which she delivered with aplomb.

The final part of the evening was Cinderella (the alternative version) written and directed by Claire Wilden.  I enjoyed it very much, it was short and snappy, and the cast were very lively, with colourful costumes.  I particularly liked Reece and Luc’s wigs!

So all in all a very enjoyable evening, I liked the enthusiasm and attention to detail, well done to you all.


 “LIGHT & SHADE” TADS Theatre, Toddington

review date 29th April 2016

Written, Directed & Produced by: Susie Conder


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