Not Dead Enough

2
Mon, 27th Feb 17
Peter James' thriller on tour, seen in Bristol.

Not Dead Enough tourHow curioius to see a proper play at the lovely Bristol Hippodrome, more normally a venue for musicals, tributes, opera and ballet. It is an huge space to fill for the cast and to be honest they didn't really manage it. With the exception of Shane Richie the cast seemed unable to project without seriously forcing their voices - I fear for their throats over the coming week - and I'm not sure what those at the back of the circle will have heard all the dialogue.

I find it hard to enthuse about the production, which lacked pace, or the script which seemed dated and predictable with the audience often anticipating the plot and some of the dialogue (and the fight!) leading to unintended laughter. The acting lacked engagement and the relationships lacked any credibility - consequently we did not care about the characters. A lot of this, of course, was made worse by trying to fill the space and would no doubt have been better in a smaller, more intimate, auditorium. In forcing their speech, the actors lost a lot of the dynamic range, colour and pacing required which made everything rather flat - this may also have explained the occasions where they faced front instead of each other and bent forward from the waist to deliver their lines as if to force them out (which is a personal bug bear of mine). Again, I excuse Shane from this as he put in a credible performance though I wasn't sure if his repeated putting his head in his hands was characterisation or frustration.

The split set worked fine but personally I don't like sound effects that clearly come from outside the acting space, nor do I like doors that wont stay closed or metal drawers that sound wooden when closed but there you go, I can forgive such things if I am engaged, but I was not.

I have seen many amateur clubs that would have done a better job on a better set .... but most of them would have rejected this script.

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