Review: Thisbe; Door Ajar Theatre

An alchemy of character, music and comedy and a kaleidoscope of talent were presented last Tuesday by Door Ajar Theatre.

Friday, 17th March 2017, 3:52 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:41 am
The cast of Thisbe, presented by Door Ajar Theatre at Burnley Youth Theatre. (s)

Thisbe, staged at Burnley Youth Theatre, waltzed through the Shakespearean world of love, magic and madness which A Midsummer Night’s Dream inhabits.

This striking show is the company’s follow-up to Shakespeare’s evergreen romantic comedy.

Fourteen years after Demetrius and Helena awoke in the woods - devoured by obsessive love for each other - we find their daughter, Thisbe, confused and neglected. Determined to find out what happened to her parents on that fateful night, Thisbe ignores the warnings of her family and enters the woods. There, she meets the roguish Puck and his meddling fairies, who, promising to solve all her problems, draw her into their knavery.

Impressive was the show’s creative use of minimal props and staging - from trees with mangled, maze-like branches to the weaving of mobile set pieces - to bring life and eccentricity to the woods.

In fact, fluidity is the buzzword for this production, everything cleverly designed to reflect the intricacy and vibrancy of human life.

The multi-talented cast – Rosalind Burt, Joey Hickman, Anne-Marie Piazza, David Osmond, Samantha Sutherland and Jennifer Wilson - slid not only from song to speech but also from the comic to the operatic. Each actor demonstrated the impressive scope of their talents by playing both a medley of characters and an original score on an array of instruments.

The inclusiveness of the play must also be applauded: British Sign Language, led by Jennifer, was elegantly melded into the performance.

Praise must again go to Samantha Sutherland, Door Ajar’s artistic director and writer of Thisbe, for creating lively characters and weaving witty lines of mischief.

We cannot forget to praise Director Roberta Zuric, Musical Supervisor David Hewson, Producer Euan Borland, Designer Helen Coyston, Lighting Designer William Ingham and Stage Manager Harrison Brodie for their roles in bringing this vibrant play to life.

Applause all round for this dynamic show, a clever and exciting dance through, as the programme promises, “the twists and turns of human nature”.

What better way to brighten up a Tuesday evening than a show recharging the musicality of Shakespearean theatre while bursting with fresh and boisterous wit?

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