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East 15 MA Acting Showcase 2014

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    East 15’s Postgraduate Showcase starts with a burst of energy and maintains that energy throughout. East 15 have made the wise choice of showcasing students from both the MA Acting and the MA International courses in one performance. It’s a wise choice to bring together the courses into one powerful showcase, although the pace at which we speed through the 25 scenes on offer in a little under an hour is daunting.

    The scenes are contemporary, surprising, upbeat, with a preference for comedy and they show off the student actors in the very best possible light.

    An overall strong group of actors with a clear weight and maturity that stands them apart from many BA courses, this was a particularly successful year for the actresses, who time after time were a striking, strong and engaging presence in each scene.

    Early on Emily Rose was natural with an excellent sense of timing and a real ease playing against David Pitt who was wonderfully befuddled and uptight in DC Moore’s Street.

    Continuing on a comical note a scene from NSFW by Lucy Kirkwood highlighted office politics and corporate speak, as well as highlighting the comic talents of a slightly earnest James Ferguson and a beautifully plumby Lucy Pickles.

    Ashleigh Loeb had a quiet authority as the teacher sent to find the giggling Daisy Boyden and Kelsey Williams in a playful scene from Teendreams by David Edgar.

    The Night Season by Rebecca Lankiewicz balanced laugh out loud lines with a real sense of tenderness, and in such a quick fire scattergun of scenes stood out because of the nuanced performances from Ivan Comisso and Jeannie Dickinson.

    I hadn’t seen Jump Mr Malinoff, Jump by Toby Whitehouse since its original production 14 years ago, seeing the extract here performed by Keir Carrol and Sam Eva made me want to revisit the play in full. Sam Eva’s performance particularly stood out, with a real ease and effortlessness in his delivery, and a confident presence.

    Joanna Rossenfeld was magnificently highly strung and sparked wonderfully off Marta Pequeno in Nina Raine’s Rabbit, while there was a real passion and energy from Jessica Elphick and Heidi Goldsmith in The Girls Guide to Saving the World by Elinor Cook.

    Meanwhile, Alex Boxall should be given representation immediately purely on the strength of his impression of a seagull. In an actually very moving scene with Kate Novak from Boys by Ella Hickson, there was a lightness in the performances that made the subject all the more heartbreaking.

    Ruth Tinker and Peter Darwent cross swords in Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Chris Chibnall better known as the writer of Broadchurch. Both performances are assured, and Tinker has a spiky delivery, masking vulnerability, which is engaging and powerful.

    Towards the end of the showcase Judith Achner and Line Johansen give us a scene from One Minute from Simon Stephens, which built beautifully to the eureka moment when Achner decides to steal a top from a clothes shop. Her moment of clarity was beautifully played with perfect comic timing.

    Slickly directed by Andrea Brooks, this hugely upbeat and fast-paced showcase managed to pack in a large cast of students whilst never feeling long, or allowing the audiences attention to wander. At times the scenes themselves were so fast and pacy that they felt snatched away all too quickly, but they were always intriguing and always engaging,

    • Criterion Theatre, London
    • September 18
    • Directors: Andrea Brooks, Robin Sneller
    • Students: Katrina Allen, Paul Clark, David Pitt, Emily Rose, Declan Sammon, Patrick Strain, Iris Mueller, Jessica Strawson, Lyall Logan, Gina Radford, James Ferguson, Lucy Pickles, Daisy Boyden, Ashleigh Loeb, Kelsey Williams, Ilaria Rocchi, Kristoffer Anker, Arun Daniel, Daiva Dominyka, Laurence Easton, Deli Segal, Matthew Corbett, Laura Reeves, Ivan Comisso, Jeannie Dickinson, Keir Carrol, Sam Eva, Marta Pequeno, Joanna Rosenfeld, Francesca Burgoyne, Peter Collington, Jessica Elphick, Heidi Goldsmith, Alex Boxall, Kate Novak, Alice Devine, Pete Darwent, Ruth Tinker, Tom Everatt, Charlie Lees-Massey, Sofie Frost, Andres Nordhaug, Ingrid Saeter, Marion Bott, Andrea Wasrud, Eleanor D’Aietti, Zoe Joy Roelant, Judith Achner, Line Johansen, Allegra Ceccarelli, Vlada Lemeshevska, Luna Tosin
    • Running time: 1hr

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