Our local NODA rep Judith came along to see 'Going Green' -- here's her take on the show.
Thank you for inviting me to report on Going Green and for your warm welcome from the Front of House team – all appropriately dressed too, a very nice touch.
Lannie Staff, your Director, did an excellent job in her first crack at a full-length play. Very well done, and Martin Hailey’s set design worked very well. A play like this one, with many scenes needs exactly the sort of simple set you devised – just a few props to change the venue. The use of a thrust stage with a desk and chairs worked well in that it separated the ‘now’ part from the ‘past’ events. Lannie, your costumes and props were all excellent with a great attention to detail. I liked the TV with its back to the audience so we could really believe it was on when the lights shone from it.
All this meant that Stage Manager, Paul Brown, and his team had a fair amount to do but you did it unobtrusively and silently so that the action was never delayed and we were never distracted from the dialogue.
Martin’s lighting was also most effective as were the assorted projected window styles - another indication of a change of venue.
Sound, Libby Beck, Peter Humfryes and Tom Sims was good at all times. I never know if it is down to sound or lighting when, as in this case, the action we are watching is also projected onto a screen on stage but congratulations all round – a very good effect.
The understated repetition of John Brown’s Body was a stroke of genius whether it was dictated by David Tristram’s script or the inspiration of the production team. Also congratulations to whichever part of the Technical Team worked on the graphics to create the newspaper headlines and the picture of ‘Maddy’ on the steps of Number 10.
The programme, James Wood and Ritchard Tysoe, gave us all the information we needed – including some words about the colour ‘Green’ - I never knew that there was a colour bar in medieval clothing! We learn something new every day, and I am supposed to be an historian too!
Ritchard Tysoe played reluctant Leader of the Green Party, John Brown, well but I felt you were not quite a believable politician although you contrasted very well with Tom Everitt as Party Chairman. In the second act when you appeared in vivid green make up, well done here to Pip Dadd and Sophie Koziol for this transformation, you became more cynical but, and this only my opinion of course, you could have projected your personality a little more strongly. Your speech ‘Go green … or die’ was not really rousing or forceful enough.
Tom, as the sexist, and, albeit barely hidden, racist Brian was excellent. Nodding, clapping, smiling during the first speech – encouraging the hidden supporters all the time, you just were the loud mouthed unpleasant face of a political string puller. You maintained a good and believable accent too. Very well acted, always in character. I have seen you play several parts on stage now and so I know that you are not as old as the character you portrayed in Going Green – but you certainly appeared older – your hair, make up and movements added so much to this character. Very well done indeed.
Alison Hartnett’s Madeleine was another very well acted performance from the slightly withdrawn and apologetic ‘medical professional’ to the eventual Prime Minister, you just blossomed. Always in character this was another sterling performance from you.
Brian’s downtrodden wife, Christine, was well portrayed by Michelle Wesson. You too maintained a good believable accent and you were perfect in the character of a downtrodden wife who was capable of delivering the odd sly dig which went totally unnoticed by husband Brian. Your facial expression when you first catch sight of John’s green face was hilarious.
As the secret service man Sir Clive, Nigel Bacon was excellent, not coming into your own until the end but sitting almost silently on the stage the entire time, in character, is not always that easy. Well played.
Finally, Holly Thomas’s portrayal of the John’s unfeeling girlfriend Laura was excellent. Holly, you were totally in character all the time and your lines were clearly and forcefully delivered. Your stage presence is excellent too.
I am looking forward to ‘The Totally Awesome 80s’ next month. From past experience I suspect that most of this current cast of will make appearances – you really are all such a hard working group! I also look forward to seeing some of you at the June NODA London Festival. Lannie, I know that you found it hard to find a play which matched your available membership so I would just like to let you know that we are planning a second hand book stall with scripts, scores and libretti – you may find something there which inspires you!
Judith Watsham Regional Rep NODA London 11 and 11A