display photos in the window were very interesting and an effective
advertisement for the production.
As ever this is very well organised with the meet and greet being done
by a very friendly and welcoming group of people. I must also mention
the smoothy running of the bar and the smart tee-shirts!
The programme was informative and well presented. The information about
the playwright and Commedia would have been very helpful to those
unfamiliar with the style.
The set was well constructed and I was immediately struck by the number
of openings and doors you had managed to get into such a small space.
It led to much anticipation of things to come.
The colours were very Mediterranean and helped to create a sense of
You organised the interior space in possibly the best way. However,
when you had characters both inside and out the blocking was a little
cramped and caused confusion for some of the audience. Perhaps the
actors in the courtyard could have moved further across and out of the
way or even to the upper level. Perhaps the inside space could have
been deeper rather than wide. For obvious reasons there was little to
differentiate the interior space from the exterior – should there have
Effective use of lighting to differentiate the interior and exterior
spaces and glad to see the actors worked within them.
However, at then of the play when all was revealed the space was rather
inadequate and caused the performers to be in a flat line and a bit
The use of the strobe was well done and added very well to the comic
The music gave a sense of time and location and was very useful in
setting the scene. However, there were many things which contradicted
the sense of time and place throughout the performance – predominately
gave an impression of time and period and went some way to defining the
stock characters one would expect in Commedia.
Would guess it also helped the actors with their characterisation.
Didn't like the hampers because it is difficult to give them the right
weight – they were too easy to move about. However, I also know how
difficult it is to get hold of two identical trunks!
farcical nature of the text was very much the driving force here, with
less emphasis on any underlying message of the text. I had no problem
with that, as a farce done well provides entertainment and that is why
the audience was there.
opening sequence was very well chreographed and a gentle way of
introducing the characters and bring them into the space. This set the
tone and pace for the start of the play very well indeed and created a
sense of expectation leading in to the sharing of vows very well.
When casting from a limited supply of actors there will always be
incongruence in age, looks etc. It was always difficult for me to
believe in the romance/love between Truffaldino and Smeraldina and also
between Florindo and Beatrice – whilst the actors did a very good job I
simply could not believe in their affections
Pantaloon (Foster Barnett) – looked the part. Your bearing and
demeanour on stage was very convincing and I had no difficulty beleiving
in your character or relationship to others. There were occasions when
exitable when we lost what you were saying and there were some prompts.
However, your sense of timing and the asides were very good – and who
could forget your face when Beatrice reveals all!
Clarice (Sophie Robertson)
– convincing in the role – the affected voice did grate after a while
but then I think that was the whole point. It certainly encapsulated
her childishness and the spoilt ways of the middle classes – something
Goldoni would have wanted to emphasise. You maintained your sense of
Dr Lombardi (Roger Barker) – made for the part – a convincing
merchant and a man of means. your stage presence was one of authority
and you worked the space easily and naturally, maintaining good
relationships with everyone on stage. Good comic timing.
Silvio/First Waiter (Howard Platt)
– Congratulations on two very convincing roles. They were so different
and maintained perfectly throughout. Perhaps the use of the lisp and
the affected voice for Silvio helped you and increased the sense of fun
that was being poked at the middle class. Your timing was good and
especially likes the way you worked your relationship with Truffaldino
when you were the waiter.
Brighella (John Haylett) – the northern accent was an interesting
addition, but did slip once or twice. A solid performance as the
Smeraldina (Irene Jones) – I loved her sassy nature – you
captured that perfectly and your comic timing was very good. You
maintained your character throughout and convinced me that you would be
after Truffaldino, in fact anything single, and in trousers!
Truffaldino (Iain Howland) – an outstanding performance
throughout. I enjoyed your energy and a real sense of the character – a
real cheeky chappy. I could not believe that he would fall for
Smeraldina – you played him with such confidence that I felt he would
not settle for someone of his own class.
Beatrice (Emma Middleton) – I felt you were very nervous during
the first two acts and stumbled over both lines and relationships with
other characters. You were better in the last act when you had more of
a sense of who you were. I liked your relationship with Truffaldino,
you worked well with him. I also enjoyed the suicide scene.
– as just mentioned the suicide scene worked well – timing was excellent
and you captured the farce so well. A clear sense of who you were.
– I loved your voice and stage presence which both added to the comedy.
Second Waiter and Pot Boy (Laura Wheadon and Dave Posen) – there
are no small parts, only small actors and the pair of you certainly
weren't small. Your work helped the smooth running of the play,
especially between scenes and you must be commended for that.