9th - 11th July 2009
Archway Studio Theatre
Sam Jones is in trouble again. She is in detention because instead of reading the books on her English Lit course she has just been watching the films. But when she suddenly finds herself transported slap bang into the middle of ‘Oliver Twist’ – and living the life of Oliver himself – she realises just how different from the musical it actually is. However, Sam’s problems are only just beginning...
This original play, adapted by Gary Andrews and Jo Pickering from the works of Charles Dickens, Han Christian Anderson & George Orwell and directed by Gary, is the Young Adults Workshop’s biggest and most ambitious to date.
If you saw last year’s ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’, you’ll know the quality of performance you can expect from this talented group of young people – and if you didn’t, why not come along this year and find out?
A teenage romp through the twists and turns of classic literature
Review of Twisted Tales , the new production from the Young Adults’ Workshop
This highly inventive devised drama takes us on an entertaining and convoluted journey through some of our most famous literary classics - Oliver Twist, The Little Mermaid and Nineteen Eighty Four – as seen through the eyes of a flaky teenager. When Sam Jones, a bolshie, workshy schoolgirl, gets sucked into her set book during detention it turns out to be anything but a boring penance; she is plunged into a bizarre and perilous adventure, becoming the protagonist in each story and transmigrating from one role to the other in true ‘Orlando’ style. She soon finds out that ‘getting lost in a book can be dangerous’.
Things spiral out of control as Sam finds herself first a beleaguered Oliver Twist, then a tongue tied and immobile Little Mermaid and finally a reluctant witness to the horrors of Room 101. If only she’d paid more attention to those set books! As she develops relationships with her co-characters, Sam tries to remember the plots and attempts in vain to save her new friends from inevitable disaster. It’s darkly comic, with some satirical comment from a modern day perspective and a dash of literary analysis – the message being that bringing literature alive can enhance young people’s appreciation and understanding of it. English teachers take note!
Twisted Tales is a daring and existential concept realised by excellent performances. The players move between multiple roles with astonishing versatility and Hannah Cutting’s performance as Sam Jones is played with an ironic, throwaway ease, enhanced by her ghostly appearance and haunting pale green eyes.
A mini epic set in a relatively small space, this production is an ambitious experiment. But Gary, Jo and the young writer/performers pull it off with creativity and resourcefulness. Recruiting the audience’s imagination to convey surrealistic effects in a simple, low tech way, they succeed in persuading the audience to suspend their disbelief and ‘buy into’ the whole experience. An enjoyable and thought provoking piece of entertainment.
Review by Lucy Daniel Raby