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Review of Stasis at The White Bear Theatre

Naomi Stafford as Ren & Ceridwen Smith as The Hologram
Naomi Stafford as Ren & Ceridwen Smith as The Hologram Photography by Sofi Berenger

How far are you willing to go to say you’re sorry?
Well that is the question asked by Stasis, a new play that is premiering at The White Bear, Kennington right now. It tells the story of Ren, a stowaway on a Union spacecraft. Mission uncertain. With the whole crew in stasis and only a hologram and the ship’s computer for company, Ren must cope with isolation and depleting oxygen whilst trying to find her way home.

It all sounds a bit “trekkie” doesn’t it? Well, it is. The writer, Emily Holyoake admits in the programme that she wrote Stasis whilst watching a Star Trek: Voyager marathon and this is evident in the finished piece.

The stage is stark. We are sat inside a space ship and it is all very dark and so the feeling of isolation is already suggested for us. There are only really two people in the cast although there is the disembodied voice of the computer.

The two “live” actors, Naomi Stafford and Ceridwen Smith are incredible.

Naomi plays Ren and she spends a great deal of time alone on stage which is scary for any actor but she gives a very strong and competent performance showing us the tedium of being trapped alone and performing the repetitive tasks involved in keeping the space ship on its path.

Ren is joined by the hologram played by Ceridwen Smith. Smith plays this character with the most impeccable deadpan delivery. It was this that made my companion, Mr Smith (regular readers may remember him as the man of few words from previous reviews) claim that it wreaked of Star Trek (he’s a nerd!).

His exact comment was “We thought Janeway’s hologram had personality issues, this one has the personality of a wet mop!” This however was a compliment even though a slightly backhanded one.

You don’t have to be a fan of the Sci-Fi genre to enjoy Stasis but if you are then I think you will enjoy it more. Above all though, it tells us a story of human emotions, which will strike a chord with any (human) viewer. It’s not a fast paced, rollicking adventure but a dark, stark story that takes you to another world. It is a perfect showcase for brilliant acting for there is no place for error. Stafford and Smith manage to pull it off with great aplomb and integrity.

4 stars

Review by Dickie Neil

Stasis
Directed by Liam Fleming
Produced by Jonathan Woodhouse & Liam Fleming
Written by Emily Holyoake
Designed by Sarah Buller
Music by Alex Burnett
Lighting by Owen Pritchard Smith
Associate Producer: Rachael Owens

Ren Naomi Stafford
Hologram Ceridwen Smith
The Computer (voice) Scarlet Sweeney
@EncompassOnline #Stasis
www.encompassproductions.co.uk
Twitter: @EncompassOnline #Stasis
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EncompassOnline

LISTINGS INFORMATION
White Bear Theatre
Address: 138 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4DJ
Dates and times: 14th to 25th April 2015
Tuesday  – Saturday 7.00pm doors – 7.15pm start
Sunday 19 April @ 4pm
Saturday 25 April matinee @ 3pm
Press Night: Wednesday 15 April, 7.15pm
No performances: 13 & 20 April
Tickets: £14 (10 concessions)
http://whitebeartheatre.co.uk/

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
Stasis
Directed by Liam Fleming
Produced by Jonathan Woodhouse & Liam Fleming
Written by Emily Holyoake
Designed by Sarah Buller
Music by Alex Burnett
Lighting by Owen Pritchard Smith
Associate Producer: Rachael Owens

Ren – Naomi Stafford
Hologram – Ceridwen Smith
The Computer (voice) – Scarlet Sweeney

Thursday 16th April 2015

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