Review: Young People’s First in 3
Northern Stage 19/2/2014
Northern Stage aim to showcase ideas in the intimate surroundings of stage 3.The first opportunity for the 16-25 age group to explore their creative ideas was last October during the Juice Festival. Today’s show of 6 acts appears to now be part of a twice a year event. A variety of art forms were on show and a lot of raw creative talent was apparent. Whilst some acts are closer to a final show than others, each act has something worth developing. As an evening of entertainment it is a real pick and mix. To that end – each member of the audience will have their own highlight.
Emily Nicholson’s film “Dancing Dream” followed the monotony of an office job to the dreams of dancing. The music was in time with the tapping of the keyboard as the dream sequence moved outside. Dancing with the wheelie bins in the snow let smiles on the faces of the audience.
Northern Stage wanted the audience to leave feedback on notes on a wall throughout the show. One such note about the Ingenius Ensemble’s performance of Rachel Lynn Brady’s Ace In The Hole suggested it would have worked best as a radio play. Perhaps it would work in such a format but there are a number of ideas that could make a great show for either adults, or with reworking, for families. The skit involved a hologram / computer interface trying to support a departure from a planet. It echoed in feel the recent production of Mission To Mars which came to Stage 2 of northern Stage. The company aim to support the creation and writing of new work for young women but as “GRACIE” wished the crew “Happy Moving Day” it was probably the younger male members of the audience that were getting the most from it. Both cast and storyline have potential.
John Hamilton May gave a confident spoken word performance in his piece entitled “The Jumble Male”. His understanding of language was exploited on themes as diverse as men who seek underage girls, male mental illness and finding new love in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. Even the list of gifts for his 61 year old father had linguistic resonance.
The musical interlude came from Lauren Hickins “Role of a Lifetime” in which she recalled a number of performces she has made in her short career to date and some roles that she’d like to cover in the future. The singing was delightful and a titular lead role in any revival of Carrie The Musical could easily be considered for Lauren.
After the interval came one of the highlights of a diverse evening as Sisley Henning performed a stand up comedy routine for only the second time publicly. Her timing was spot on as she gave many of the acts at The Stand a run for their money. Her delivery of topics such as confusion over her name, hair and keeping fit was confident and natural. The audience laughed as Sisley explained that it is said that you might not be able to buy happiness but you can buy pizza.
Hindsight is wonderful and perhaps the preparation for the multimedia presentation of Kindness Kontagious by Sian Armstrong could have started in the half hour before the show began rather than in the interval. The audience were asked to be filmed to reveal moments of kindness and, after editing, the film was played back. It was a brave attempt to involve the audience and one which was worth waiting for.