Miss Nightingale storms the stage to start the show just as it ends – with energy, enthusiasm and a patriotic desire to support the troops. Unfortunately, these kinds of scenes are often where Matthew Bugg loses his way slightly on the show, releasing his otherwise tightly held grip and clear conceptual realisation in favour of getting the audience on their feet, involved and dancing. These numbers fall flat and end up as slapdash, a bit shoddy and overdone. The best parts of Miss Nightingale are those that stay simple, heartfelt and emotional, stripped back and laid bare. Thankfully these nuggets of gold far outweigh their superficial counterparts in a musical that has real promise and foresight, a refreshing take on a forbidden love story.
Tag: Theatre Bloggers
Helen (Grace Chilton) exhibits all the signs of a pregnancy borne out of desperation – the relationship with Aaron is swiftly going downhill, but don’t worry because an impending baby will fix this family. It will turn them into the picture perfect unit that she already has framed on her wall. Helen is a no frills, no filter sort of girl, commenting in a poignant monotone about every single observation she makes. Pregnancy is boring, indeed. Random statement emerge from Chilton in a semi-spoken word narrative that compiles together to make Pandora, a play that tries to extract hope from that evil that has spilled out all around. The natural pace of Chilton’s script is intoxicating – it skips from one random thought process to another as Helen paces around the flat she is now confined to. Wifi is down, jelly (her pregnancy craving) is out of stock, so she paces, ponders and waits for father-to-be to return and inject some energy into her despondent life. It transpires that this isn’t actually a good thing.
There are tea leaves everywhere, endless potential cups to drink. In a place where time seems to have no meaning, there is more than enough opportunity to rake up the past, a past better left forgotten but which is the focal point of the discussion. Discussion over tea, a way in which to sit down and put the world to rights. If Not Today, Eventually sees a somewhat dishevelled, almost ethereal setting where the woman in blue (Nicky Ingram) and the woman in red (Nicoletta Procopiou) can iron out their dirty laundry and try to make sense of it all.
Rachel (Maddie Rice) is like so many young, fresh-faced graduates students today. Leaving university with aspirations of changing the world, making a difference, she swiftly realises that it’s more important to survive in London than to make a difference. With a sales job calling and commission on tap, those naïve life-changing dreams are replaced with embarrassing Christmas parties, mortgages and out-performing her colleagues, “Greed is not just good. Greed is everything”. Except in this case, Rachel escapes the seductive corporate lifestyle pull and eventually trains to be a social worker. Perhaps she is simply unlucky, perhaps it’s the private sector’s twisted version of karmic retribution, but one case doesn’t go exactly to plan. Suddenly Rachel is thrust into the media spotlight for altogether less appealing reasons. She becomes the Villain in her own right. Keep Reading
A drug of forgetfulness, one that takes your sorrows away. The Greeks called it Nepenthe, Esthie (Zoe Hutmacher) calls it white wine. As with so many of today’s entitled elite, it is there to take the pain away. Maybe she drinks it so much because, as a luxury, she feels so undeserving of it – her horrific past as a prisoner in Auschwitz is the evil that the wine makes her forget. But now she’s a celebrity, the rich wife of a major movie studio head. She throws parties in LA, “It’s Hollywood! You can fix anything!” That is, until a script crosses her path, a script that reminds her of the horrors in the Block 24 Brothel. Keep it dead and buried, plaster on a smile and instruct her maid Mare-Thérèse to bring more of her Nepenthe, her safety blanket, her anti-depressant.