Sunday, February 15, 2009

"My Clydeside Valentine" - February 2009

We gave up years ago on booking a table in a restaurant on Valentine's weekend and suffering dreadful service and overpriced food at a table that has been squeezed in next to the toilets. But I think it was the Citizens Community Company's "My Bloody Valentine" in 2007 that made us realise that Theatre could be the alternative we were looking for. And this year they are back with a 2009 Valentine's week show - "My Clydeside Valentine".

Comprising fifteen short sketches, monologues and songs we get a blend of the comic, the tragic and the nostalgic on a Valentines theme. Over the last few years we've always found the Community Company's shows to been well written and performed but tonight felt even slicker and tighter than in the past, so credit to Directors Neil Packham and Elly Goodman. Yes, there are still some segments and performances that aren't quite as successful as others, but the Community Company is about developing skills over a period of time - not just for a single show.

A prime example of the benefits of this approach is Catherine Chan who over the last couple of years has progressed from playing relatively small roles to this evening where as a very confident young actress she was very much the star of the show -playing central roles in three of the segments. She also wrote "On the Spot" which was a nice moment of theatre brilliantly performed by herself along with William Shields and David Black. The couple's emergence from the audience and dispute with our usher was inspired and certainly had a few in the audience taken in - for a moment at least.

Another self penned highlight was Neil Bratchpiece's "The Wee Man's Date" in which he starred with Noreen Morton, Alan Ward and Evy Vourlakos. The clash of two very different romantic picnics was well performed by all four, and Bratchpiece has a talent for creating mental images that linger much longer than one would wish.

Frances Rose Kelly and Danny McGonagle's "My Clydeside Valentine" musical number was darkly comic and strongly delivered, while the ensemble songs all worked well with the live music being a great addition - particularly in "It Must Be Love". But the quieter moments also work, with Waldorf particularly enjoying "Looking Back" by Rena Hood performed by Patricia Preston and Eddie Donoghue while I was more taken with Anne Marie McLeod's "Beside the Clyde".

There are too many segments to mention them all, but each made an effective contribution to the evening, and Frances Rose Kelly's "The Rollerettes" made for the perfect end to the show with a level of genuinely enthusiastic audience involvement that is rarely achieved.

My Clydeside Valentine has now completed its run in the Citizens Circle Studio
Image by Tim Morozzo used with permission

1 Heckle

blkpooljimmy said...

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Clark Gable