Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Blinded by the Light - LAX Theatre Company, 24:7 Festival Manchester

Blinded by the Light by Karl Voden
Director: Paul Fred Kelly
Reviewer: John Roberts

By the very nature of a fringe festival you are inevitably going to come across some shows that are of a high calibre and some that unfortunately fall short of the mark, and I have to say that my first production of this year’s fringe most certainly fell into the latter.

Karl Voden’s script about a collective of media photographers and reporters meeting outside a fictional stars home after a reported rape, which during their time together start to question themselves and the reasons behind what they are doing is definitely an interesting topic to wrestle with, but if falls remarkably flat and also a little contrived. Over use of expletives and sexual references a fringe show does not make!

The show isn’t helped either by the lack lustre direction by Paul Fred Kelly, with only 55 minutes to wow the audience we are instead left with an production that leaves the actors mostly in horrid straight lines, messy clusters and a complete unawareness of the landscape geography of the world they are inhabiting.

Reg Edwards (Ray) & Tom Tunstall (Gobi) for actors who have a wealth of experience between them are rather flat and for the first ten minutes were only just audible clearly having difficulty in tackling the acoustic challenges of the space, but Edwards does give a menacing performance throughout, but is let down in this by Tunstall colourless and cross armed performance which takes place throughout feeling that he is searching for his next line rather than the next emotion.

The only ray of sunshine in this production is given by the comic and energetic performance of Mitch played by Thomas Latham, showing the rest of the cast how to connect with a piece and to the audience, but even his colourful interpretation couldn’t help the poor writing and poor direction.

I think I would rather be on the end of a Paparazzi onslaught than sit and watch this production by LAX Theatre Company, at least at the end of it I will have something to go home with and talk about!
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