Author Archives: exetreme imagination

About exetreme imagination

Exeter's festival of writing and stories for young people

Strictly Doll Dancing

pinocchio-jasmin-vardimon-company-ashford-626-low-resA Review of Jasmin Vardimon’s Pinocchio by Thomas Markham, one of exetreme’s young volunteers

Like many others, I grew up watching the tale of Pinocchio as brought to life in glorious animation by the good folks at Disney. Since then, Pinocchio has been a favourite for both children and adults for just simply how entertaining and timeless the film is. However, that is not what I went to see on October 21st. What I instead saw was a fantastic performance telling the famous story in an original and surprising way.

What helped make this performance stand out to me was definitely how the story was gotten across through various mediums, the most important of which was interpretive dance. The choreography on display managed to capture the mood the scene was trying to set. These feelings created by the choreography were only enhanced by the great music which fitted each scene. However, the dancing wasn’t the only medium used to help convey the story. There were also hands and feet, with three pairs of hands belonging to members of the ensemble being used to create the “face” of the narrator/Pinocchio’s conscience. However, I must not downplay how spectacular the actors were at conveying their characters with little-to-no actual lines. Maria Doulegri really shines in a scene where Pinocchio is picked on by other school children due to his unusual behaviour. This scene was very powerful and showed a real tragic side to Pinocchio’s character and I felt she did a brilliant job in that scene.

Overall, this was a fantastic performance that I would recommend anyone to come and see.

Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars

Monster or Masterpiece?

Frankenstein18-12-15-Matt-Austin-38 low resA Review of Four of Swords’ Frankenstein at Great Fulford Estate by Thomas Markham, one of exetreme’s young volunteers

Do you want to know something interesting? I have never really looked at Frankenstein as being a horror story. It has horror elements for sure but I would instead consider it something else: a tragedy. My opinion of Frankenstein being just this has only been enhanced after witnessing this performance of Mary Shelly’s famous novel at Great Fulford Estate.

The most notable thing about this play is that different scenes take place in different rooms of the house. As a result, this is a unique experience to say the least. While there are some problems with everyone moving from one room to the other, the use of music, strobe lighting and the great props/scenery created for each scene really help bring each scene to life, particularly the laboratory, the Blind Man’s house and the last scene. All the actors give great performances but the two who stand out the most are Emerson Pike as Victor Frankenstein and Phillip Kingslan John as the Creature. The range of emotions they display gets across the complexity of their characters and how tragic the story and their characters truly are.

Overall, this was a fantastic rendition of a fantastic story but, word of warning, this is not for the faint of heart.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

exetreme imagination at Dawlish Community College

dsc_0569-lowresExeter Northcott Theatre took exetreme imagination to Dawlish Community College where students took part in a workshop – Spaces to be Yourself.

The two-hour session focused on the themes and characters found in Meg Rosoff’s Young Adult novel How I Live Now. Participants were encouraged to explore how protagonist Daisy’s life is changed when she is forced to live in an environment which is totally alien to her, and to reflect on how spaces, both familiar and unfamiliar, affect their own experiences and emotions.

dsc_0581-ed-lowresFeaturing relaxation techniques and tools to encourage self-reflection, the workshop encouraged students to examine Daisy’s ‘capital letter moments,’ when her frustration about issues out of her control led her to react in negative and destructive ways. The group explored how this affected Daisy, and those around her.
Spaces to be Yourself was led by Workshop Leader Conor Magee and Lisa Hudson of Exeter Northcott Theatre as part of exetreme imagination’s programme of activities in schools and other education settings.