Fringe Box



Review: Surprises Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Published on: 31 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 31 Jan, 2013

By the Stage Dragon

Richard Stacey in Surprises - photo by Robert Day

Richard Stacey in Surprises – photo by Robert Day

Surprises certainly was an apt title for this production. Set in an unusual future, every plot twist in this production was unexpected. The play, by award winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn, is making its premier tour, and stops at the Yvonne Arnaud until Saturday (February 2).

The play uses to the idea of time travel to reveal to us the complicated nature of love and regret. It is an incredibly human story in an unusual setting. The play uses sci-fi as a backdrop but the story focuses completely on the complicated nature of its human characters.

The production was a long one and with two intervals probably stretched a little too far. But with moments of gentle humour, and profound insights, it managed to keep the audience’s attention for longer than a lot of other plays would have managed.

The cast did a fantastic job with some unusual roles, the highlights being Richard Stacey’s portrayal of a loveable robot ‘Jan’ who must come to terms with the complicated world of human relationships. Also worth a mention was Laura Doddington, as legal secretary Sylvia, who was both hilariously funny and very endearing.

The sets for this production were fabulous, a real visual treat. There were flashing lights, eerie noises and a moving time machine. They complimented the highly imaginative ideas in the play, and the actors worked very well with all the visual aids they used.

This new and  highly imaginative play is definitely worth a trip, especially for those who love theatre for exploring new ground. It is guaranteed to be unlike anything else you have seen before.


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