Tag Archives: 2012

Review: The Laramie Project

Whilst many people across Leicester were hitting the (alcohol) bottle, catching up with friends after a busy week or packing to go to Egypt (okay, that’s probably just my sister!!), me and a couple of my friends decided to go and see ‘The Laramie Project’ at Curve theatre. Now, this wasn’t the way that I usually like to spend my Friday nights, but I was so glad that I decided to swap catching up with ‘Jersey Shore’ to go and support my fellow DMUers.

I purposely didn’t research anything about the play because I wanted to see it with an open mind, but I was aware that ‘The Laramie Project’ had something to do with the murder of a gay university student named Matthew Shepard. Due to the fact that ‘The Laramie Project’ was a collaborative partnership between De Montfort University and Curve, I knew it wouldn’t be like anything else I had previously seen at the theatre. However, I was certain that it would be excellent!!

The play itself was split into two acts, with a twenty minute interval in between, and whilst it might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, it was definitely mine. Seriously, I was captivated right from the beginning up until the very end. I was so impressed by the acting and the way that it sort of dived straight into the story. You found yourself chucked in the middle of everything, trying to piece it all together. In addition, I liked the fact that the actors were addressing the audience throughout the play – bar two scenes (I think), because it kind of made it more personal and made me feel more involved.

I think the reason why I was so moved by the play (like many others, I’m sure) is because it’s a true story and uses the actual dialogue of the people of Laramie who were involved, people who are actually alive today. In fact, I was so moved by the play that as soon as I got home, I started researching the story myself and spent the next morning watching the 2002 film with the same name. In both the play I watched on Friday and the 2002 film, I found the monologue by the actor portraying Matthew’s father Dennis incredibly moving because in all the drama of it all, you sometimes forget that Matthew was someone’s son, brother, grandson, and friend.

Personally, I can’t believe that incidences like this can and do occur, because the way I see it is; love is love regardless of gender, age, religion and all the other constraints that people have placed on it. Hopefully, one day everyone will be able to look beyond the social constraints that have been placed on love and accept it for what it really is.

The DMU students involved in ‘The Laramie Project’ did an excellent job. They’re so talented and I hope to see them on stage again at some point in the near future.

If you’ve seen The Laramie Project or if you’ve got an opinion about the play/incident/etc, feel free to pop your thoughts in the comments box below.

Priya

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Goodbye 42nd Street

On Thursday, after the Young Marketing Forum meeting, I was fortunate enough to see ‘42nd Street’. Seriously, I had high expectations anyway because Curve’s Artistic Director Paul Kerryson never fails to impress, but this show far exceeded my expectations. Honestly, I was toe tapping all the way home and I couldn’t fall asleep that night because I had the song ‘We’re in the Money’ stuck in my mind (not that I’m complaining because I love that song!). The dancing was amazing, the vocals were flawless and it was such a great show, I am SO glad that I managed to see it before its run in Leicester comes to an end.

Anyway, let me pause in my love-fest about the show and tell you what ‘42nd Street’ is all about. It’s the story of a small-town American girl called Peggy Sawyer (or ‘Allentown’ as she is frequently called throughout the show because that’s where she comes from) and her journey from chorus girl to fully-fledged Broadway star. A show originally conceptualised to cheer people up during tough economic times; it is packed with dazzling show-stopping numbers and impressive dance routines, plus a score including a song that I am sure everyone knows called ‘We’re in the Money’. Purely for my own amusement, here is a YouTube-clip of the song from the original 1980 Broadway production;

Speaking of the original production, the 1980 Broadway show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and went on to become a long-running hit. When the show was produced in London, it went on to win an Oliver Award for Best Musical. The 2001 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival.  Impressive, right?!

Drawing your attention back to Curve’s production of the show, I loved the fact that it went straight into the story without beating about the bush. I also liked how the 14-piece on-stage orchestra were used to draw the audience in and the way it was interwoven throughout the show, it was flawless. Paul Kerryson used the stage in such an imaginative way and I especially liked how the backdrop was used to recreate the feel of the Great Depression. As I previously mentioned, the dancing was incredible and I am sure that the vocals were some of the best that I have heard at Curve. In addition, the talented cast were fantastic, particularly Ria Jones as Dorothy, Geraldine Fitzgerald (that is my all-time favourite surname!) as Maggie and Tim Flavin gave an extremely strong performance as Julian Marsh.

Before I stop taking up your time ranting about my love of Curve and 42nd Street, I need to tell you that the tickets for Curve Young Company’s spring show are going to go on sale very soon, so please make sure you book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Last year’s show completely sold out, so don’t leave it too late to get your tickets for this year’s show. Keep your eyes on Curve’s website to find out exactly when and how you can book tickets.

Go on, support young people doing productive things!!

Priya

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