Last year’s Showcase was good. But this year’s was superb. Packed full of fantastic acting, thought-provoking writing and excellent directing, Theatre Group have certainly out done themselves. In fact, I won’t be surprised if I have run out of superlatives by the end of this review.
Showcase is a series of sketches written, directed and acted by students from the society, and enveloped a large range of genres, from those that made you cry, to the provocative, to the hilarious. The diction was perfect throughout, with there being no person who you struggled to understand, each piece perfectly delivered at a suitable tone.
Two pieces definitely stood out for me, The Blindest, Deepest Love, written by Robert McGough and directed by Emma Lespierre. Bella Brown and Nick Barclay played excellent justice to a very well written piece that was perfectly complemented by the lighting from the ever-wonderful StageSoc. It was beautifully atmospheric and a pleasure to watch; I saw many people wiping away a tear at the end.
The second piece was from the excellent trio of Tom Hunt, Robin Johnson and Jon North, who were at their comic best in Rob McGough’s Come Gather, which delivered an excellent light hearted comedy. The direction from Murray Tremellen was superb, with excellent use of the stage and props and overall a very well-polished performance, as was the case throughout the show. The timing and tight choreography of Voices was certainly brilliant, and gave a perfect atmosphere, even if the plotline was slightly obscure.
There were times, however, when I felt a little more could have been done with the set, as the black drapes did get a little tedious and there was very little in the way of scene changes. What was there was well chosen and made the most out of, but it could have been a little more exciting.
StageSoc were on top form as usual, with good uses of the lights and extra noises ensuring that a professional performance was held throughout the night; although the cast do need to be careful of making excess noise when in the wings, especially at the end of the performance!
The real stars of the show, and in some ways the un-sung heroes of the performance, were definitely Lydia Longman and Sophie Grout (known collectively as SoLyd). Their untiring patience and the unending time they have given to not just Theatre Group but many of the other PA societies is an excellent example to others. I know their dedication has not gone unnoticed by the cast, and I hope the audience also appreciated their commitment.
Overall, a fantastic example of what students at Southampton can achieve. Keep up the good work guys!