Haste Theatre’s Award-Winning
Redgrave Theatre, Bristol
Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Review by guest author Lisa Cadd, Bristol’s “Fuss Free Foodie”
I was especially looking forward to watching Oyster Boy at Redgrave Theatre, never having watched a performance there before. I hadn’t realised that the theatre had been built for Clifton College in 1966 and was the first purpose-built theatre school in the country. In the 70s it was decided that amateur dramatic groups could hire out the venue and now a variety of professional touring companies perform here. The theatre was renamed in 1985 in honour of ex-student and actor Sir Michael Redgrave after his death, who officially opened the theatre back in the 60s.
OYSTER BOY SYNOPSIS
Oyster Boy tells the story of Sam, a boy with an oyster-shaped head, his life being ‘different’ and the impact this has on those around him.
OYSTER BOY REVIEW
Oyster Boy, performed by the all female, Haste Theatre company was inspired by a Tim Burton poem and has been adapted from their much-loved fringe show for a UK regional tour.
Set on Coney Island in the 1950s, the scene was instantly set in lively song with ukulele and we saw a love story unfold between Italian native and ice cream seller, Jim, and beautiful Alice. Being of Italian descent myself, and having a grandmother who worked in an ice-cream parlour in southern Italy (and my grandfather was called Jim!) it was a joy to hear the Anglo-Italian lilt of the ‘male’ lead, which was spot on, I hasten to add!
The play, which was an hour long, saw a black stage dressed simply with picnic baskets and colourfully attired actors who created different scenes for the protagonists. Imaginative seaside scenes, French restaurant dining and a hospital delivery suite were simple but left the audience in no doubt of what was happening. With the use of comedy, dance and song, they wove a wonderful tapestry that kept you wondering where it would go next!
Underneath the frivolity and clowning around, lay issues about how young Sam dealt with his place in society and being that child who was ‘different’ and how, as parents, Alice and Jim dealt with their altered perception amongst their peers and their relationship together in their challenge. It dealt with modern-day issues of fitting in, acceptance and judgement. Indeed it played out how the negative actions of others can leave a person feeling outcast and unaccepted, and result in many unanswered questions and feelings.
A beautifully simple story, with a meaningful message that would be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Whilst maintaining laser sharp eye contact with the audience and a twinkle in their eyes, the Haste Theatre company have created a piece to evoke thought about human nature and the part each individual plays in society. Definitely recommended for all ages to see, with many learnings and points to be taken away on many levels. An enjoyable show and certainly worth the trip!
Thanks to our guest author Lisa for writing this review for Practically Perfect Mums. If you’re looking for easy family meal ideas, click on the link to visit Lisa’s inspirational blog, The Fuss Free Foodie.
Author Bio: Lisa Cadd
The Fuss Free Foodie provides easy short cuts, quality advice and recommendations to enjoy cooking and eat well; without the fuss! Join the Fuss Free Foodie community for daily inspiration on Facebook and Lisa’s weekly blog.
OYSTER BOY CAST & CREDITS
An original devised production by Haste Theatre. Inspired by the title story of Tim Burton’s collection of poems The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy.
Associate Director: Kasia Zaremba-Byrne
Costume & Set Design: Haste Theatre
Sound Design: Paul Freeman
Lighting Design: Paul Murray Stowe
OYSTER BOY TOUR PERFORMANCES
More 2017 Tour Dates:
24th March: Old Joint Stock, Birmingham
30th March: Marlowe Studio, Canterbury
1st April: Theatre Royal, York
2nd April: Carnforth Station Heritage Centre, Lancashire
11th April: Salisbury Playhouse
6th & 7th, 13th&14th May: The Warren, Brighton Fringe
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DISCLOSURE: WE RECEIVED TICKETS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY/OUR OWN. POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS