A Duck, A Thumb, A Fish and A Match

Date 26th February 2015
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Lytton Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Corrina Winnett, Dave Slade, Emma Lovelock, Aaron Govey and Sophie Ashby


Author: Vicki Avery

Once again The Stevenage Lytton Youth Theatre have delighted us with four more tales by Hans Christian Anderson. Each adapted and presented by five different directors, some experienced and some testing the water for the first time.

The first story was based on The Ugly Duckling. Here the pace was good and the interaction between the different characters was strong but at times I lost some of the dialogue from the duckling herself. It is so important to ensure that your audience hears every thing you say so that they can enjoy your whole performance. Characterization was good and you made full use of the stage but it was such a pity I could not always hear you.

The Little Match Seller. Here the story was well delivered and the story line clearly defined. I thought that the choice of music was very appropriate and the choreography most effective. It is quite an accomplishment for a young director to achieve effective free dance with a mixed age group but for this performance it worked very well indeed.

The Little Mermaid had its own complications being set mostly under the sea. However this was effectively directed and thoughtfully costumed. Again diction was good but I sat quite near to the front and could hear every word. Projection may have been an issue for those at the back of the theatre as some of the dialogue may have been lost in the more busy moments. A good tip during rehearsals is to turn away from your cast, stand as far back as possible or better still in a tight corner of the acting space and listen. Can you still tell what your cast are saying or do you have to strain to hear. Due to the fact that you are familiar with the dialogue one often compensates for lack of projection, you know what you should be hearing and when some of it is lost one puts the words in subconsciously.

Finally Thumbelina, a lovely piece of drama here and you were fortunate to have a Thumbelina who could deliver her lines intelligently and with feeling. My only issue was with the frog masks. Here was a great idea but unfortunately the masks compromised the delivery of the dialogue that at times became muffled and difficult to understand. Sometimes simplicity is the key and wacky ideas though at the time seem original and fun, actually detract from the beauty of the piece and leave the audience wondering why did they do that.

All in all I had a lovely evening and I am always keen to see young talented directors having a go and developing their craft.

Thank you for your generous hospitality