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Say Hello to some emerging acting talent



Review by David Munro

HELLO You at the Riverside Theatre is an eye-opener.

Advertised as a multi-media experience, it is nothing of the sort. Yes, there are TV screens, which show pictures from time to time, and there are strobe lights, which give verisimilitude to the rock concert scenes, but this is a play, performed by five young actors on a bare stage, which is theatre with a capital T.

The plot concerns a charismatic man, played by Ian Golding, who, through the course of the evening, alienates his best friend and his wife and a girl he picks up at the concert to which they all go.

The play concerns itself with inter-relationships and their breakdowns and, as such, it is not a novel plot, nor situation.

What we do have, however, are five very talented young actors who, during the course of the evening, portray a multitude of characters convincingly.

When the play started with heavy rock music and video scenes, I wondered whether I would be able to sit out the two hours without interval threatened by the programme.

I will admit for the first half hour, I longed for a quick release, but then the skill of the performers started to hold my attention and I became, unwillingly, involved with the action and the plot.

As the evening progressed, I realised that I was watching a very inventive and very talented cast and my initial resistance to the piece was eroded as they involved me in the action on stage.

The main character, Frank, around whom the action revolves, is a stereotype, a bluff, brash character who alienates friends and lovers alike. The play is concerned, therefore, with the breakdown of his relationships and how he precipitates these.

This, in turn, involves the rest of the cast playing a myriad of roles with the bare minimum of costume changes, and I was irresistibly reminded of what theatre was, and how originally it was players on carts who had to portray characters by sheer skill and with the minimum of props.

For this reason alone, I would advocate a visit to the Riverside Theatre, ignore the heavy metal sounds and the video and just appreciate five young people who prove that theatre does not need costumes and scenery, but simply talent.

The five involved are Mark Doyle, Ian Golding, Katy Kattan, Georgina Lamb and Niky Wardley.

Agents should be beating a path to Hammersmith and so should you, to give them the Hello they warrant.

Hello You a piece written, designed and directed by John Keates, Lighting and Sounds by Helen Mugridge Video by Bev Reid, Original Music by Tom Devrell, Costume Design by Annie Cook. WITH: Mark Doyle, Ian Golding, Katy Kattan, Georgina Lamb, and Nicky Wardley. Produced by Fecund Theatre at Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith W6 until September 27, Monday - Saturday at 7.45pm.
Box Office 020 8237 111.

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