The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
February 11 & 12, 2011.
by Dan Clucas
Over the Wall
by James Saunders
Kevin Isaac & Tom Harris
After Midnight, Before Dawn
by David Compton
Our Man – Cast
Mark Best – Sir
Ryan Lainchbury – Phones
John Garland – Mouth
Ben Cassan – Nose
Ian Grover – Eyes
Roland Ham-Riche – Ears
Over the Wall – Cast
all characters played by
After Midnight, Before Dawn – Cast
Hazel Starns – Calm Woman
Addie Marten – The Girl
Mark Best – The Man
Tom Pearson – The Boy
Diane Robinson – The Neat Woman
Maggi Pierce – The Old Woman
Producer – John Garland
Stage Managers – Dave Comber
Stage Managers – Martin Oakley
Technical Operator – Tom Halford
Assistant Operator – Hem Cleveland
Set Construction – Dave Comber
Set Painting – Dave Comber
Poster Design – Judith Berrill
Publicity – Anna Quick
Photography – Isi Fink
Front of House Window Design – Rosemary Brown
Box Office – Jane Denyer
Programme Note #1: escapism3
JG wrote: “The 1 Act Evening is traditionally a chance for emerging directors to gain experience of the rôle, before moving on to the challenge of a full-scale production. However, the plays tonight are all directed by those with experience of the ‘big stage’ – Mark Best has frequently directed the Young Wick, and Roland Ham-Riche has previously taken charge of a musical for the company. Kevin Isaacs, who co-directs with Tom Harris, has also recent experience of directing a big Christmas show. This is fortunate because the challenge has been to bring a performance together in a very short space of time – the rehearsal period has been less than 4 weeks. I know the actors, both young and old, have also worked really hard and I am especially grateful for the backstage and technical support that I have received over the last week. I can feel a new team behind the scenes as well as on the floor!”
Publicity #1: escapism3
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Wick Theatre Company presents an evening of one act plays to help beat those winter blues with three plays and three different ways to escape.
Our Man by Dan Clucas is the story of a soldier’s day as he wakes, receives his orders and goes into battle. The conflict between the real world and his tired mind is portrayed by the interaction between Nose, Ears, Mouth and Eyes, linked by Phones and overseen by their leader, Sir, who can never quite achieve the high standards he sets them all. A highly original play, very funny in places and bitingly poignant in others.
Over the Wall by James Saunders is a hilarious piece exploring our search for knowledge, the bliss of ignorance and the power of tradition. An island divided by an impregnable wall asks many questions and divides the opinions of our characters. Could going ‘over the wall’ shed some light on the mysteries of hope, belief, need and longing?
After Midnight Before Dawn by David Campton is an excursion into the power of chaos and confusion as six prisoners accused of witchcraft await their execution on the gallows. It is the late 1600s and only the Calm Woman remains unmoved. On being questioned, she replies that she knows she will not hang, but does the Devil really look after his own?
Review #1: escapism3
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Sheena Campbell
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One-act evening at the theatre often offer a variety of styles and skills, as emerging directors gain experience in the their rôles.
Wick Theatre Company’s latest offering, Escapism3, at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, was slightly different as all three plays were directed by members with experience of larger productions. This showed in an evening of interesting theatre which overcame last-minute changes and the difficulties of making an audience connect with three different tales.
Despite completely different settings and styles all three plays – Our Man by Daniel Clucas, Over the Wall by James Saunders and After Midnight Before Dawn by David Campton – carried a theme of mortality and the pursuit of understanding.
Our Man, directed by Mark Best, who has often directed Young Wick, was a last-minute addition to the programme after another play was withdrawn. Set inside the head, or control centre, of Private Jones, the play is initially comic, but gradually descends into tragedy as the men in charge of controlling the soldier’s body realise they are fighting a loosing battle against outside forces. Given how many young men are currently serving their country, this depiction of the mechanics of a soldier was particularly poignant. The lack of rehearsal time meant some of the performances were not as polished as one would usually expect from Wick, but an experienced cast still handled the change in pace admirably.
Over the Wall, directed by Kevin Isaac and Tom Harris, was the highlight of the evening. Without any set or props, the four actors had to portray a range of different characters who live on an island surrounded by a large and unexplained wall. Sophie Lane was particularly admirable as she convincingly switched between a posh art critic, angry wife, commentator and bored teenager, with just a change in tone and stance.
After Midnight Before Dawn, directed by Rols Ham-Riche, portrayed a group of men and women due to be hung for witchcraft. Initially innocent, four of the group rapidly make a pact with the Devil for a chance to save themselves. The level of intensity built up in a short period of time was impressive and the feeling of an inevitable downfall carried the audience along with bated breath.
Wick should be proud of an interesting and thought-provoking evening of theatre.
Review #2: escapism3
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: February 15 2011
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
The Wick Theatre Company’s trio of one-act plays provided varied entertainment set loosely around the theme of escaping.
In one, Our Man, the title referred to a battle-fatigued soldier embarking on his next mission. His fear, exhaustion and homesickness was seen through actors portraying his brain, mouth and sense of smell, sight and hearing. Overlong, this promising idea soon turned to childishness and tedium. However, the play briefly came to life as tension built up when the soldier came under fire.
After Midnight Before Dawn had characters, condemned for witchcraft, awaiting death. The Faustian theme of soul-selling had a neat twist in its tale. There were good performances from Mark Best, Hazel Starns and Tom Pearson. Inaudibility at times proved to be a problem and was not helped by the cat masking each other and having to speak upstage.
The best offering, and sadly the shortest, was Over The Wall – a whimsical piece about an island divided by an impregnable wall and a man’s curiosity to get over it. The antics of the four members, as they switched easily from character to character, provided the evening with some much needed hilarity. Sophie Lane’s GP was a hilarious gem.
Comment #1: escapism3
Publication: Wick Newsletter
Publication Data: March 2011 issue
Heading: Mark Saves the Day
When one of the titles scheduled to fill the escapism3 programme had to be withdrawn at short notice, this put the whole production at risk. But Mark Best stepped in to save the day, despite already having a part in another of the one-act plays.
His choice of play [Our Man] went from script to stage in three weeks – quite an achievement.
Thanks to Mark and the cast, Wick was able to present a complete, and successful, one-act evening.