Archive for November, 2012

BBC Newsreader makes Fringe Theatre Debut

By on November 26, 2012 | Category: Blog | No Comments

 

Simon McCoy plays starring role in Second Skin Theatre’s The Christmas Dinner

BBC Newsreader Simon McCoy is destined for a life on the stage. Or at least his voice is. Second Skin Theatre’s latest production The Christmas Dinner features segments of newscasts recorded by McCoy detailing current episodes of starvation and poverty in London.

 

Written by Stoke Newington local Duncan Stevens and devised by “N16’s resident theatre company” (N16 Magazine), this dark Christmas comedy plays at the White Rabbit Theatre from November 28 to December 16.

 

A lavish Christmas dinner party thrown by four wealthy and wholly despicable Stoke Newington residents is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a poltergeist. However, as the night unfolds the true horror reveals itself to be something much closer to themselves.

 

Artistic Director Andy McQuade (Best Director 2012 – Fringe Report) explores themes of terror in isolation and the unknown, in a society that leaves its forgotten poor to haunt the privileged few. All news reports included in the production are quoted from recent mainstream publications and media sources.


“We are struggling to cope with the scale of this silent epidemic of hunger. More than 60 per cent of the 2,000 children we help every week tell us there is no food at home and 85 per cent rely on us for their main meal of the day. What I am seeing shocks even me. One child told me that he and his brother were so hungry they stole frozen meat from a flat they visited — and they ate it raw.”

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and chief executive of Kids Company. The Evening Standard, London, 2012.

 

“Forty-three hospital patients starved to death last year and 111 died of thirst while being treated on [hospital] wards”

The Telegraph, London, 2012

 

“A newly married couple forced to live on £57 a week killed themselves in despair after being ‘abandoned’ by social services ”

The Daily Mail, London, 2011

 

Second Skin Theatre’s The Christmas Dinner by Duncan Stevens plays from November 28 to December 16 (no show December 1 & 7) at the White Rabbit Theatre, 125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH. Wednesday to Sunday evenings at 7:30pm. Advance tickets: £10/£8 at ticketweb.co.uk

The Christmas Dinner : Horror on Stoke Newington Church Street

By on November 18, 2012 | Category: Blog | No Comments

THE CHRISTMAS DINNER by Duncan Stevens
Directed by Andy McQuade
White Rabbit Theatre | November 28 to December 16

A lavish Christmas dinner party thrown by four wealthy and wholly despicable Stoke Newington residents is thrown into turmoil by the arrival of a poltergeist. However, as the night unfolds the true horror reveals itself to be something much closer to themselves.Duncan Stevens’ hilarious world premier had its first airing in front of a select audience last week and is being redevised on a nightly basis. Seating is strictly limited and on a first-come-first-seated basis so PLEASE book ahead!

THE CHRISTMAS DINNER CREATIVE TEAM

Director   Andy McQuade
Producer   Jessica Ruano

Designer   Ana Ines Jabares
Assistant Director   Eleanor Appleton
Lighting Designer   Sarah Crocker
Lights & Sound Tech   Luca Romagnoli

THE CHRISTMAS DINNER CAST

Terrence   Matthew Howell
Clara   Sally Lofthouse
Richard   George Collie
Rachel   Sarita Plowman

Second Skin Theatre’s The Christmas Dinner by Duncan Stevens plays from November 28 to December 16 at the White Rabbit Theatre, 125 Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0UH. Wednesday to Sunday evenings at 7:30pm. Advance tickets: £10/£8 at ticketweb.co.uk

UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS 

In 2013, Second Skin Theatre presents two new productions at the White Rabbit Theatre that focus on powerful women in history who strive to maintain dignity and beauty through times of adversity.

Sappho… in 9 fragments by Jane Montgomery Griffiths, directed by Jessica Ruano and featuring Victoria Grove (La Chunga), from January 9 to 27, 2013.

Blood Privilege by Don Fried (London premiere), directed by Andy McQuade, from March 13 to 31, 2013. McQuade also directs the play in New York in February and in Los Angeles in May.

REVIEW – QUILLS Hackney Citizen

By on November 9, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , | No Comments

Second Skin’s rendition of the last days of the Marquis de Sade is a compelling and credible portrayal

Sarah Gill
Friday 9 November 2012

Pressed nose to nape in the hot dark belly of the White Rabbit Cocktail Club, the soft cushions, dark staging and pornographic hangings are a perfect lair for Second Skin’s rendition of Doug Wright’s Quills.

The play re-imagines the last days of the Marquis de Sade from the dungeons of Charenton insane asylum. The only outlet for de Sade’s dark imagination whilst  imprisoned for his wicked behaviour and sinful tastes was in inking violent erotic stories and smuggling them out to the salivating masses.

Framed by the cruel repressions of France’s Reign of Terror, with heads “popping like champagne corks” in Paris, the play is a satirical take on personal freedom, passion and state control.

Grunting and preening, the Marquis should be the villain of the piece and yet he becomes a pathetic kind of hero. He is as much a victim of the greed of Doctor Royer Collard and his own wife, plotting to silence his writing, as the suppressed sadistic desires of the Abbe de Coulmier, which find their resolution in his bloody, but inevitable, end.

“Conversation, like other [portions of the anatomy],[runs more smoothly when] lubricated,” purrs Peter Glover’s brilliant Marquis, puckering a Cupid’s bow mouth and rearranging his bulging silk bathrobe. “Come and sit on my knee, so you don’t miss a word.”

Andy McQuade’s production is eloquent, funny and, ultimately, disturbing. The script is sharp and playful, and the cast deliver it with uniformly well-controlled timing and a lightness of touch that belie the demands of the piece. Glover is excellent – initially flouncing in powdered wig and flirting with maids; and later crawling on the floor, nude, and scrawling the walls with his own excrement.

He is a wonderful storyteller, “chaperoning us through the dark waters of the soul”, with snapshots of his lustful horror stories, while his captors try to stifle him with increasingly barbaric methods. We are often uncertain whether to laugh or shudder; whether we sit in judgement or are ourselves prurient spectators, craning for a glimpse of naked flesh.

Lauren Kellegher as de Sade’s hysterical wife is also a pleasure, bribing the doctor to silence her husband so that she can be received into polite society’s garden parties once more. Her lines swell to fill the recesses of the room without toppling into farce. Initially self-conscious, Chris Brown’s Abbe grows into the role, and his descent from light-hearted liberal churchman to the architect of the Marquis’s torture is as well handled as his anguish when he recognises the hypocrisy of his actions.

“I did not forge the mind of man, filling it with rancour and blood lust,” taunts the Marquis, confronted with the death of the maid Madeleine after a prisoner re-enacted one of his stories. “Don’t hate me because I turned the key.”

Quills
Till 11 November 2012, Wednesday to Sunday
White Rabbit Cocktail Club
125 Stoke Newington Church Street
Hackney
N16 0UH

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