Friday, April 22, 2016

reviews - THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART - National Theatre of Scotland - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Jessica Hardwick
Photo by Peter Dibdin
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through April 24th.

The National Theatre of Scotland's ...original play The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart has come to Scottsdale for a week long run, and what an exciting and immersive theatrical experience it is. ..the plot follows young academia Prudencia Hart who has come to the small town of Kelso, on the Scottish Borders, to attend a conference. It is a snowy, cold, wintry night and when she finds her car snowed in she sets off to find a place to stay for the night. Little does she know what is waiting for her at the very hellish bed and breakfast that she's booked for the evening. ...Delivered almost completely in rhyming couplets...the play is fun and energetic, though it does have some downright spooky moments...the audience sits at large tables, with the actors bringing the storytelling and live music throughout the crowd as the tale unfolds. The cast of five are exceptional. Jessica Hardwick is Prudencia and she is luminous as the smart, social outcast who finds herself in a very strange situation. ..Wils Wilson has not only directed a gifted cast, but with minimal props and virtually no set, manages to create the settings of the piece exceptionally. ..David Greig's script is impressive, especially in his ability to use rhyming couplets to tell Pru's story. However, there are a few moments when it gets bogged down just a bit or where the shift in tone, from outright comedy to intense drama, is a little jarring. But sit back and simply let the story of Prudencia's dance with the devil unfold all around you and you will most likely find yourself very happy you took the journey.  -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

"... a raucous, sometimes bawdy celebration of the Scottish storytelling tradition, with a cast of five relating their supernatural tale (mostly) in verse as well as music and kicking things up a notch with sight gags and a little dancing on tables. ... this is a show that delivers big laughs, big thoughts and, best of all, big surprises....simply great, unexpected theater"  - Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic (click here to read the complete review)

"...a most intriguing, unique, and pleasurable theatrical experience...innovative piece of interactive drama, written by David Greig (2011) and starring the enchanting Jessica Hardwick as Prudencia and David McKay as Beelzebub. Director Wils Wilson converts the back stage of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts into a pub wherein the five actor troupe conveys Prudencia's odyssey of personal discovery in devilishly well-constructed rhymed couplets, a remarkable feat in itself, and theatrobatics among the tabled audience. We the audience are in the action! It's a midwinter's evening. We're in a pub ~ a ceilidh place, "where stories and tales, poems and ballads, are rehearsed and recited, and songs are sung, conundrums are put, proverbs are quoted, and many other literary matters are related and discussed." The troupe opens with folk music. We are enjoined to make snow ~ out of shredded napkins ~ and we create the weather!...David McKay is fierce and enigmatic as her mentor, pushing and pulling Prudencia toward revelation....This is a grand and exciting form of theatre, rich with musicality, muscularity, and message. So, hats off ~ or shall I say, a tip of the tam o' shanter ~ for a performance exceedingly well done!"  -Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review)

No comments:

Post a Comment