Echoes and Shadows.
Plot Synopsis: "Echoes and Shadows" is where Shoreham's past and present merge. It is January 2008 and a soldier is waiting for the girlfriend he left behind. When she arrives, things don't go quite as he had planned. In fact, things have certainly changed around here since he went off to war. Now there are flying ships and roaring carriages. Even worse, the pub's vanished!
"I had the idea for this play when I first saw the Ropetackle
Centre. This section of Shoreham has recently changed beyond all recognition.
Someone who had been away for a few years might today find himself or herself
momentarily disoriented at this end of the High Street.
Shoreham is a place that has been famous as various things through time - as a thriving fishing port, the location of the Swiss Gardens pleasure grounds, an important ship-building centre, and of course an early film studio.
Yet although the pace of change in Shoreham has quickened of late, among all the redevelopment, there are still some buildings that have stood for centuries and many of us too are from families who have lived here for generations. When we walk through the town today, we are never far from the echoes and shadows of Shoreham's past - and future."
Original Production Details (Buzz
Theatre in Association with The Ropetackle Centre).
Date: January 2008
Venue: The Ropetackle Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea.
Director: Martin Harris
Lighting Design: Stephen Holroyd
Lighting Operator: Rebecca Perkins
Sound by: Simon Butcher
Costumes by: Netta Thompson
Review. (from Worthing Community
It might well be hard for one unfamiliar with the style of a given theatre company to consequently gauge their intentions, and, indeed, their scope, as artists. But if Buzz Theatre, in their production of Judy Upton's Echoes and Shadows, desired for their audience a night of intrigue, excitement and entertainment, they could have done little better.
Judy Upton, an award-winning playwright, had the premiere of her brand new play at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Centre on the 18th and 19th of January. The houses, each evening, were packed, and the first play Judy has written that is set in her native town of Shoreham-by-Sea made the mostly local audience feel at home. Only everybody also felt as if the furniture had been moved around while they weren't looking,.
The play begins in January, 2008, where a soldier waits outside Shoreham's own Ropetackle Centre for his girlfriend, Marie (Lynda Newbury). Things have changed since he went off to fight in the war - The Napoleonic War, that is - and now the poor, disorientated Will (Sam Cocozza) is a beleaguered witness to 'flying ships', 'roaring carriages' and great 'grey rivers' that have cut swathes throughout the streets of his once beloved town. And worse still, his local pub has completely disappeared and his friend Ben (Jean-Paul Pfluger) along with it.
This marks the first time Judy has written for the young Buzz Theatre Company, and it was, without a doubt, a very successful partnership. Buzz Theatre may perhaps be young in terms of its profile, but there was nothing whatsoever immature about their production. The actor's interpretation of their characters, and, therefore, the themes of the piece, and their feel for the nuances of the dialogue, ensured the rapt attention of the audience. And director Martin Harris' choice of a simple aesthetic made certain that your heart was bitter-sweetly broken by the end of the night.
Throughout the play Upton achieved a neat, and often poignant, articulation of the themes; themes so complex, at heart, that in the past only those with decoder rings were able to understand them; themes such as dissociation and memory, language and identity, love and unbearable confusion (my personal favourite). A simple distribution of the few set pieces helped the audience to grasp, intuitively, the nature of the chasm that stood between the characters, and the production realised their struggles with disconcerting changes inflicted upon them both intelligently and gracefully, and chose not to clutter the stage, nor, indeed, the actors, with a multitude of handbags and frilly handkerchiefs.
Their moment-to-moment exchanges with other de facto 'aliens', strange visions of the future (and of the past), and the impact of recent events, confuse, bewilder, and in some cases, utterly betray any character's effort to equate private expectations with experience. Sometimes, it seems to them as if whole vocabularies have suddenly become redundant, or are too obtuse to be useful, or understood; dialects have shifted, at least from any normal Standard English they know, and each one feels as if they were rubbernecking to catch an edifying glimpse of a language in use in a world far beyond their own.
There are certain things we know and understand about where we grew up, where we live, and choose to prosper, that no one else outside of such spaces will ever be able to fully understand, or express. As both the landscape and the people change, as they grow apart, and come together, it becomes vital to understand the nature of these chasms that appear between us. To be able to comprehend the context into which we are ascending is as important as understanding the situation from which we have emerged.
Buzz Theatre has earned a loyal fan. Bravo.
Synopsis: Kellie is on a journey to find her true identity. TJ thinks he has met the girl of his dreams... But when it rains something sinister stalks the streets of South London.
A musical for L'Ouverture Trust at Goldsmiths College, New
Original Production Details
Date: August-September 2009
Venue: George Wood Theatre, Goldsmiths College, London.
Book by Judy Upton
Songs by William and Marie South
Creative Director and Producer: Ken Breinburg
Musical director: Mike King
Choreographer: Kelechi Nwanokwu
Cast of 13 – 18 year olds includes:
Taylor Siobhan Jospeh
Short cuts to Judy's other play pages.
Plays (page 1) - Everlasting Rose/Ashes and Sand
Plays (page 2) - Temple/The Shorewatchers' House
Plays (Page 3) - Bruises/Stealing Souls
Plays (Page 4) - Sunspots/People on the River
Plays (Page 5) - To Blusher with Love/Pig in the Middle
Plays (Page 6) - The Girlz/Know Your Rights
Plays (Page 7) - Confidence/The Ballad of a Thin Man
Plays (Page 8) - Sliding with Suzanne/Hotmail from Helsinki
Plays (Page 9) - Team Spirit/Grandma was a Mermaid
Plays (page 10) - Echoes and Shadows/making Waves (this page)
Text and Site Design - Copyright (c) 2002-08 Judy and Peter Upton.
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