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Triple Bill at Drayton Arms Theatre | Review

A Sticky Season - credit Lexi Clare
A Sticky Season – Photo credit Lexi Clare

Jack Donald’s 60 minutes play A Sticky Season switches between what appears to be a coming out dialogue, a brief history about two iconic famous gay writers Alan Ginsberg and Joe Owton and what sounded like the original news report of the day the law changed to recognise and accept homosexuality as no longer being illegal.

Fruit is the dominant theme running throughout. In the beginning, he reflects on his experience of examining fruit trees near his home last August, where he also reflects on his own sexual awakening. There are forbidden fruit references, for example, using a banana as a phallic symbol which the cast shared among themselves as it was eaten.

Marcus McManus and Rosie-Lea Sparkle never spoke throughout the performance. Their acting abilities were extremely good. McManus’s performance was captivating when he mimed through his roles as the various male gay encounters. Although never explicit you fully understood what was taking place during the intimate moments.

The dance club scenes in San Francisco were well choreographed, Mcmanus and Sparkle danced in sync changing from fast to slow motion in perfectly in time with each other. Actions certainly spoke louder than words for these talented young actors.

Donald’s use of music and singing divided the play up. Using these different devices to engage with the audience and keep it entertaining as well as informative. An unusual piece of theatre cleverly composed.

Cast: Jack Donald, Marcus McManus, Rosie-Lea Sparkle
Director: Pollyanna Newcombe@Bliss Brutal

Minor Disruptions - credit Lexi Clare
Minor Disruptions – Photo credit Lexi Clare

Minor Disruptions
An interactive theatre performance by Katie Paterson. Her ability to entertain while questioning was a usual platform to use. However, it worked well.

The stage was dressed with toys each representing a gender-specific role and various other random items, which became obvious as the play developed. Through her props and own experiences when growing up, she questions how gender is taught to a child. Questioning how and why children are taught to think and learn in this manner of what is expected of them rather than what they feel.

Inviting the audience to play with the props at the end of her show caused a lot of laughter. Members sprayed each other with water, messed about with Jenga and touched their inner child.

Cast: Katie Paterson
@KatieCPaterson

Crystal Bollix - credit Lexi Clare
Crystal Bollix – Photo credit Lexi Clare

Crystal Bollix presents The Bitch Ball
As the title suggests the use of the word Bitch took a prominent place throughout the dialogue of this performance.
Alexandra Christie dressed in her extremely uncoordinated and obscure outfit ranging from a pair of jeans with one leg, see-through fishnet tights with extra holes on the other leg and a netted top with plaster crosses covering her nipples to a large pink wig. Set the scene for her extrovert presence on the stage.

With the aid of many different songs containing the lyrics bitch. She went on to show how the word can change between a positive meaning to becoming an insult. Lip syncing and acting as she acted out the different emotions evoked by one small word.

Her companion who plays the keyboard and aids her performance has been created as her polar opposite dressed smartly in black, little if any makeup and a plain hairstyle.

Cast: Alexandra Christle, Lena Stahl
Director: Kate Bauer
@CrystalBollix
@Applecandra

Minor Disruptions and Crystal Bollix are both performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. Both shows are examples of work you expect to see there. Quirky, up to date themes and entertaining.

3 Star Review

Review by Elaine Chapman

A Sticky Season by Jack Donald
Seasons come and seasons go, political tensions rise and fall, heat intensifies and dissipates and pressure mounts and mounts until it finally finds release.

Inspired by the lives of Joe Orton, a British Playwright living at the heart 60’s Britain, changing its attitudes towards homosexuality and Gaetan Dugas a Canadian flight attendant scapegoated for spreading AIDS within the vibrant party scene sprawling across America in the 70’s.

Through a queer language of live Jazz music and poetry influenced by ‘The Beat Generation’, this performance consumes and digests the stickiness of these histories from a contemporary queer perspective.

Minor Disruptions by Katie Paterson
A child’s head revisited – why does everyone keep saying that childhood was a simpler time, full of innocence and happiness? Wasn’t it just an endless well of chaos, boredom, frustration and impossible rules that nobody explained (shh).

This solo endurance test piles comedy and autobiography awkwardly on top of each other to excavate the queerness of a ‘normal’ childhood. Every show is a completely different experience, with a party atmosphere of riotous silliness and some very good-natured audience participation – the only person at risk of humiliation is Katie, we promise!

Crystal Bollix presents: The Bitch Ball by Alexandra Christle
Ever been called a bitch? Want to escape reality? Or simply want to have a muthaf***ing good time?

Welcome to the Bitch Ball.
Join drag artist Crystal Bollix as they try to discover their ‘Bitch Realness’ in a wildly entertaining fusion of lip-sync, dance, and a LOT of audience interaction.

https://www.thedraytonarmstheatre.co.uk/

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