Reviewed by Martin Thurston for The Croydon Advertiser
Seasons of the year
At first it seemed that Theatre Workshop Coulsdon’s presentation of “Circles II” on Saturday might turn out to be a rather self-consciously trendy affair.
Those three young men, jacketless, one wearing a black Homburg hat at an odd angle, seated at a control table, or wandering about with studied carelessness – were they part of the show? Had it begun yet? Had something gone wrong already? Or was it going to be one of those avant garde evenings with all the backstage activity in full view?
We need not have worried. Once the performance got going, a gentle and charming simplicity proved to be its keynote.
Based on an idea by Chris Argles, and produced by Rosemary Swinscoe, “Circles II” progressed through the months of the year from January to December. Slides were projected on to a screen, depicting rural and urban scenes under snow or sushine, to the accompaniement of taped music, poetry and prose readings. Apt mimes and dances were performed by TWC members on a square dais in front of the stage.
February brought the “Skater’s Waltz,” with figures in scarves and gloves slithering ans slipping. May brought Tennyson’s “I’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother.” June brought a mimed oicnic, and real beakers of real orange juice, some of them passed out to the audience, thereby setting the right mood for the interval and refreshments.
In the second half, September’s “Hoedown” was ripely bucolic and fortissimo, and October’s harvet=st festival produced baskets of fruit and vegetables to the benefit of deserving members of the audience. So to December and “Auld Lang Syne,” which was where we came in.
The music and words to accompany “Circles II” were well chosen, the slide-pictures often delightful. Some of the miming could have been a lot sharper, and occasionally it fell to a children’s dumb-charade level. The dancing too, was on the whole elementary and unadventurous.
But an amiable, carefree wpirit permeated the proceedings, which were entertaining, untaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. The show goes on again tomorrow (Saturday), starting at 7.45pm.
The Dancers; Summer; Readers
The Dancers; Spring; Readers
The Dancers; Readers
The Dancers; Autumn; Readers
The Dancers; readers
The Dancers; Sun and Moon; Readers
Technical Crew Details:
Based on an Idea by; Co-Ordinator
Sound; Stage Management
Stage Management; Slides and Artwork