Angela Review at Alphabetti Theatre
Angela by Charlotte Small
Alphabetti Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne
8th November 2023
I am back at Alphabetti Theatre after performing here as part of their residency programme just a couple of weeks ago. The residency programme is a marvellous opportunity for people to hone their skills, develop their work and to experience working in a professional theatre. Tonight I was enthralled by poet Suzannah Ronnie who performed her very well researched study into the concept of memory. This was very interesting and coupled with the lighting from resident LX designer Chris Foley offered a piece with imagination and heart.
Next was established North East playwright, Ben Gettins, who gave us a taster of a new play which I can’t wait to see as it develops. The residencies that Alaphabetti offers give new and local artists the opportunity to develop their skills and to present back over a three night period at the end alongside coaching and guidance from the very supportive and knowledgeable team. There is only one more chance to enjoy this share back but there will be more in the near future. I applaud Ali Pritchard and his team for these opportunities and there are more available for writers, directors, and performers. Check out Alphabetti’s website for more information.
Angela by Charlotte Small started out life as a response piece to a wonderful performance by the aforementioned Ben Gettins in a play called “Sugar Baby” for which I was in the audience. It concerns a Girl Guide Leader who is more than irked by a geeky but attractive and knowledgeable 11 nearly 12-year-old new comer from Yorkshire who more than rocks her life to its core.
This solo show is wonderfully performed by Rebecca Glendinning-Laycock who is probably far too young to draw from the wonderful performance of the late Victoria Wood, but does so with great ease at the start of this very interesting piece. Rebecca’s performance is wonderful as the frustrated and complicated girl guide leader, and the titular, Angela. Her torment at having to correct the things she has caused is beautifully nuanced with her characterisation of a really annoying, precocious nemesis alongside a surprisingly vocal egg cup and a very deceased badger.
For budding writers, there is the opportunity to write a response to this piece but only if you can do so by the end of this week. The resulting and winning script will be performed after subsequent performances later in the run.
I am a big fan of Alphabetti Theatre and I enthuse to anyone who will listen to me that I have never seen a production at this intimate and welcoming theatre that I have not enjoyed and there is so much more on offer then the performances. Check out the website and see how you can get involved.
Angela by Charlotte Small, directed by Ruth Mary Johnson plays at Alphabetti Theatre until 25th November with performances at 7.30pm daily (except Sunday and Monday) Matinees on Saturdays at 1pm with tickets as always ranging from £3-£15 and pay as you feel. In the same spirit, I am offering two tickets for anyone who wants to see ‘Angela’ by Charlotte Small on any evening for the rest of the run. Get in touch with innewcastle.co.uk for more information.
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