Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Taking Steps: Emporium

Taking Steps
Theatre Reviver
13th - 24th October

Set in ‘The Pines’, a dank and decrepit Victorian villa awaiting revival, six characters sneak and shuffle along bleak corridors, in and out of rooms and up and down creaking stairs over the course of one hectic night and morning. This highly amusing play about the tussle of spirit against restraint plays on turns of logic and timing to produce a timeless comedy for a wide-ranging audience. 

This particular production combines a budget set of strategically placed furniture with a versatile and highly accomplished cast, who altogether successfully and magically condense a three-story house into a 5 by 5 metre square space in the round, for your viewing pleasure. The cast rotate around each other in this small space wonderfully. Coexisting in the same confines but creating the illusion of different living areas through skillful maintenance of focus on individual strands of the plot and failing to be distracted by the movements of others. A genius cracking of the rubik's cube is the most accurate summary of this scintillating production.

Extracting a single exceptional performance from this line up of exceptionally talented people is practically impossible but Ewan Goddard portraying Mr Tristram needs to take a bow. Goddard’s wide, glassy eyes sparkle from his first step. His beautifully rehearsed stammer and accurate timing equal a flawless performance and silver platter which carries forth the delivery of comedy gold from other cast members. Andrea Newland, a dancer don’t you know, plays the role of dramatic never-has-been perfectly and immediately assures the audience of the enjoyable evening ahead.

This is an amazing production, ideal for Friday night laughter as well as a light weeknight treat. In the words of Ayckbourn himself ‘Taking Steps depends entirely on its telling’ and one will not need telling twice to remember this glorious production.