Company

Reviews/Comments

SPANGLED PREVIEWS AND REVIEWS
Wales Online 26/4/13
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/theatre/spangled-mercury-theatre-wales-tour- 3156724

It’s On Cardiff
http://www.itsoncardiff.co.uk/Events/Event.aspx?fcid=27485

Young Critics Review 13/5/13
https://theyoungcritics.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/review-spangled-mercury-theater- waleschapter-arts-center-chelsey-gillard/

British Theatre Guide Review
http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/spangled-chapter-cardif-8800

Theatre In Wales Review 3/5/13
http://www.theatre-wales.co.uk/reviews/reviews_details.asp?reviewID=2986

Wales Arts Review
http://www.walesartsreview.org/spangled/

Theatre In Wales Review 9/5/13
http://www.theatre-wales.co.uk/reviews/reviews_details.asp?reviewID=2999

COMMENTS POSTED BY AUDIENCE MEMBERS AFTER SEEING “SPANGLED”

I recall the 1st time I saw Star Wars, I was only a nipper
I recall the first time I saw a Ferrari
I recall my first ice-cream was the Queens Jubilee in 76

I will never forget when I saw ‘Spangled’, I am not the kind of guy that hits the theatre, man I was taken aback, the production was like nothing I have seen/experienced before

If there is another show like this going on again I will be all over it like a Cardiff Seagull in Chippy Alley
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Tonight was one of the best pieces of interactive theatre I have experienced. You guys nailed it! Even as a ‘new’ clubber, I recognised the stories you were telling. Moving, exciting, and thrilling. Thank you all so much :). I hope this show can make it to the Edinburgh Festival, you definitely deserve it!
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Yay, congratulations. You know when you’ve been Spangled!
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Absolutely loved Spangled. Such an innovative show, took us all back in time… Well done on creating such a unique and special piece of theatre. From all at Cellar Door
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A wonderful experience. Involving and immersive. Thank you.
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Saw this on Thursday, absolutely awesome! Anyone who’s ever been clubbing over the years needs to go see this before its too late
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LOVED spangled … Was like a trip down memory lane.. No pun intended
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Well done at volcano on Saturday! I loved it! Perfect space for it!
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9 SUITCASES REVIEWS

Sunday August 28th, 2011

ED2011 Theatre Review: Nine Suitcases (Mercury Theatre)

In this one man play, based on the Holocaust experiences of writer Béla Zsolt, our narrator shares his story of escape from a ghetto hospital to Budapest. The two performers – actor David Prince and musician Bethan Morgan – carry the action superbly. Jumping between drama and tragedy, Prince’s physical performance encompasses Zsolt’s conflicted humanity and story, shifting voices and movement to portray the various characters encountered on his way. Morgan’s music impressively reinforces the tone and experiences, and the subtle staging consists of five pieces of furniture which demarcate each part of the journey, with the narrator moving between them. A compelling close up on the Holocaust, this play is equally quest and character study, with each side wonderfully produced.

tw rating 5/5
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Review by Helen Catt

There is only ever one man on-stage in Nine Suitcases, but with David Prince’s gift for storytelling, it is not always easy to remember this. The stage seems to be filled with the shades of the characters he talks about, from the pretty young nurse to the train conductor. He tells them using a number of different accents. At first this felt a little odd – I was expecting the Nazi commandant to have a German accent, if any. But if there are as many German accents as there are English ones, then to lose the affects of the different accents by playing them all in a generic German one, would have lost some of the texture of the piece.

“An honest and authentic account.”
The music was composed and performed by Bethan Morgan, whose bleak violin solos and sharp military tattoos complimented the piece perfectly. The stage was bare apart from a chair in each of the four corners and a mattress in the middle – but again, with Prince’s talent for storytelling, these chairs became a room in Budapest, a Quarantine Hospital and the ghettos of Hungary.

The vignettes told by Prince were graphic and desolate, capturing the sense of the Jews waiting for the Holocaust to happen to them. He told tales of hope even in desperation, and salvation from the most unexpected sources. The overwhelming impression was of a people entirely at the mercy of fate. There is never any self-indulgence about the play. Prince’s character, a thinly disguised Béla Zsolt, accepts his fate without the least complaint – indeed, he points out the hypocrisy of complaining after he didn’t stand up for crimes committed against other races.

When I saw Nine Suitcases, the audience was undeservedly sparse. It’s difficult to believe that a show of this calibre has remained undiscovered for the whole of the Fringe season. It is an intensely powerful production that held utterly in thrall what little audience it had. Perhaps it’s lack of a larger audience came from the venue’s location, which was a little way away from the masses of the Royal Mile. Or perhaps it was the intense subject matter – but this shouldn’t have intimidated people. There was no plucking of heartstrings here, it was simply a tale of one man’s journey through all of the petty insults and theft of dignity that came from those nightmarish times. An honest and authentic account, it is one that is well worth watching.
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Review by David Knowles

This adaptation of Bela Zsolt’s memoirs is a fascinating and moving account of one man’s experiences of the holocaust. The protagonist (the blurb tells us) is a ‘thinly disguised version of Bela Zsolt himself’. The team behind the show had thus set themselves a challenge; to convincingly portray and explore an autobiographical account of the holocaust on stage. This is perhaps the most difficult and trying modern theatrical test.

“A fantastically crafted exploration of the darkest moments of human history” David Prince is a master story teller. Using just his voice and a few well chosen actions he draws us into a nightmarish world of Jews, Ghettos and the lengths human beings will go to escape death. Throughout the piece Prince is utterly compelling to watch. The decision by the director to make all the different voices Prince performed as accents of the United Kingdom rather than of Eastern Europe and Germany was also inspired. Simply put, no-one in the audience would have a clue what the difference between a southern Hungarian accent and a northern one is, so transplanting the characters and making them more familiar and thus relevant really did work.

Prince (with the aid of some lovely low key music provided by the multi-talented Bethan Morgan) created such believable scenarios that, in my exhausted state, I actually (out of the corner of my peripheral vision) started to see some of the characters Prince described, creeping and slinking in the background. I would like to believe this is testament to Prince’s ability and skill than my own tiredness.

The stage was simple and well-designed with every corner inhabited by a different object that would aid Prince in one stage of his story. The centre was covered with a dirty mattress on which the dishevelled and gaunt Prince started the piece (in a bombed out hospital). This simple set was used well by Prince and

I do believe that if this show was on in another venue it would draw sell out crowds every night. It deserved to be experienced by a far greater number of people than it (depressingly did). All in all, then, Nine Suitcases is a fantastically crafted exploration of the darkest moments of human history.

ANAMNESIS 25.12 – 2015 Audience feedback

This was different to anything I’ve seen before and was perfect for a Christmas show.”

Some thought-provoking issues raised and I loved the dancing – fantastic!”

I thought it worked very well in the space and I liked the use of the video sections: Inventive, creative, living drama – not stagey.”

Most unusual, we thoroughly enjoyed the show. It was funny, touching and made us think. Da Iawn!”

Really enjoyable experience – slowly the story unfolded and had meaning for me being as I’ve experienced so many Christmases!”

A wonderful show with snippets of our real life memories. So glad I came and shared your show.”

A very enjoyable, entertaining show, which highlighted the problems surrounding Christmas, and other social issues.”

Very well produced, quickly turned around scenes and costume changes, very emotional! And fantastic way of involving the audience.”

Heart warming!”

The show was absolutely fantastic. Everything was spot on, definitely had lots of laughs and tears. Fabulous.”

It was awesome! Really enjoyable, a Christmas show but more original.”

Very funny, warming and Christmassy! I loved the audience involvement.”

Wonderful! Amazing interaction!”

A stella cast who engage and encourage the audience to enjoy the immersiveness. These interactions add to the performance and experience for all.”

Interesting the way the space was used – made it much more intimate.”

Wonderful mixture of laughter and sadness.”

Very different. Really enjoyed the format and lots of audience participation.”

Images:Simon Boughton