By Graham Chalmers
The latest team of would-be reviewers from secondary schools in the Harrogate district showed some real talent in their journalistic assignment at Harrogate Theatre.
Their mission, set by the theatre’s education and workshop leader Hannah Draper in the Young Reviewers Scheme, was to write their own review of Square Peg Theatre Company’s recent thriller, The Man Who Woke Up Dead for publication by the theatre and the Harrogate Advertiser.
Taking part were Amelie Roch (Harrogate Grammar School); Hannah Hancock (King James’s High School, Knaresborough); Francesca Allison (Harrogate College); Trinity Horn (Harrogate High School); Anna Floyd (Ashville College) and Carly Jennings (Harrogate Ladies College).
On show night, the theatre’s head of press Michaela Noonan joined the Harrogate Advertiser’s Graham Chalmers and Hannah Draper to provide some writing tips in person to the fledgling reviewers.
The quality of the writing which ensued was high from all the students but, eventually, a winner emerged - Carly Jennings of Harrogate Ladies College.
And here’s her very impressive review...
Review by Carly Jennings, Harrogate Ladies College
Square Peg Theatre Company presents The Man Who Woke Up Dead, Harrogate Theatre
Intriguing, gripping and thought provoking, The Man Who Woke Up Dead is a tense thriller devised by Square Peg Theatre that keeps you enticed and desperately searching for answers as the narrative plays out.
The play, written and directed by Michael White, who also plays the role of The Man, is set in an eerie hospital.
A mysterious man wakes up with no recollections of his past, after being found by the side of a road by Evelyn Scott, a nurse and patient (Katie Robinson).
Claiming to be a man who is known to be dead, The Man’s story is not the only mystery that the audience must unravel in order to understand the truth.
The play is filled with disturbing revelations about all the characters, including the curious Doctor Atwell (Phill Minns), that make you question what is real and whether everything is as black and white as it seems.
The play uses a minimalistic set compromising a wooden box, stool, shelves and the actors themselves that seem to blend in yet still demand your focus as you are drawn into the plot.
But don’t let this façade of simplicity fool you; beneath it lie complications of truth that the audience must decipher.
The fluidness of the characters’ movement, lighting and the sound changes entice you, making you feel as if you were following the characters’ motions as they turn every corner.
The Man Who Woke Up Dead is not a play where the audience has the benefit of simply being able to sit and take it all in, instead this thought-provoking production demands the close attention necessary to draw your own conclusions.