Reviews, news, interviews and previews of THEATRE, COMEDY, FILM, MUSIC, ART, LITERATURE in Greater Manchester and the whole of the UK.
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
ONLINE THEATRE REVIEW: Theatre Is The Cure: Episode 6 - online
A weekly event organised, presided over, introduced and MC'd by Los Angeles-based actress Hannah Logan. Her affection and enthusiam for these monologues, performed by professional actors in isolation durng lockdown is obvious and sincere.
Each week different actors, directors and writers have their worked shared on this channel, and is available for free worldwide. Obviously it is hoped that those watching will donate to the cause, but more than that it is simply a love for and a need to continue creating that keeps them and many more of us going in these very difficult circumstances.
The writers are given a 'prompt' or a theme upon which to base their writings, and in this, episode 6 of this series, the monologues were all based around the coronavirus pandemic and how we are as individuals coping with isolation.
What was most unfortunate - and something which really in my mind at least needs addressing - is that although Logan credits writers, performers and directors verbally, she keeps apologising for not knowing how to pronounce their names, and there is no written record of them anywhere. These names should be either put up on screen before or after each monologue, or be available on her Facebook page as a cast and creatives list. Hopefully though, since this episode is quite an old one now, this will already be happening. However, I have made a note of some of the names - the ones which I thought I could hear clearly enough to have a stab at writing them down, and so if they are misspelled (and they probably are), please forgive me.
In the 75 minute edition we were shown 12 monologues (36 different creatives!), and the show ended with an original song involving three more creatives too, so this is one massive and undoubtedly full time operation for Logan! However, I cannot mention them all, so instead will focus on just five which drew my attention more than the others for purely aesthetic or personal reasons, not because they were in any way "better" - that is just far too subjective a concept for an endeavour such as this.
The first to pique my interest was a piece titled "Wherever Is Her(e)" and written by Somebody Jones and performed by Hillary Dadio-Perrone. It was a seemingly gentle exploration of her struggles during lockdown being an Amercian in London, and missing the simple things which she takes for granted in the States which aren't the same here. And her first experience of an outing just after quarantine ends, a trip to the beach. There are quite a few levels at play with this monologue and it was effectively delivered by Dadio-Perrone. In a not too dissimilar vein, the second piece was "7pm In New York" by Ashley Lara and performed by Heather Warren. A 20-something female spends her first night in New York under lockdown and this was her somewhat neurotic and metaphoric banging-her-head-against-a-brick-wall virtually as she takes us through New York, roommates, the pandemic, losing jobs, clapping for carers and masturbation!
Following this was 'Eliana' by Elisabeth Speckman and performed by Jennifer Laine Williams. Again another multi-layered and hugely sympethic piece, and again on one level, a very simplistic story of a lady living next door to a foreigner who is over-protective of a rock in his garden. It is obvious this soon becomes a metaphor for the virus and how we respect distance and don't touch now. Very emotive and superbly acted.
The penultimate item in the show was 'Her Own Space' by A K Abeille, but performed by Kay-Megan Washington. A very simple piece, but sometimes the simple ones can be the most effective and have the greatest emotional pull, as here. A young lady lives alone, she likes living alone, she can do what she wants when she wants etc... her space is hers! However she is now telephoning a medical helpline since she has a fever and is obviously concerned. It's a very real moment and could so easily have been a fly-on-the-wall documentary.
And finally the song. Being Musical Theatre trained, and musicals being a part of my life-blood, it would be wrong of me to disregard this. The song was called 'The Lockdown Song' and had lyrics by Bill Nelson and music by Willem Oosthuysen. It was performed by Tara Sampson. With a long introduction by Hannah Logan, it was a neurotic moment of madness about her taking an illegal trip to Disneyland during lockdown. A comment on how isolating due to the virus is sending us all a little stir-crazy and some of us are tipped just a little more over the edge than others...!
Congratulations to all involved, and please do keep up the good work. we all have had to find ways of diversifying and honing our craft during these dark and uncertain times, and so it is only through opportunities like this we are able to stay "sane"!
Reviewer - Matthew Dougall
on - 16/6/20
Thank you for the great write-up. I am the co-producer with Hannah and I can help with spellings. After each live show we edit each monologue down to its own stand-alone video which has a card at the beginning with the participants. We could benefit from a stage manager or tech guru, so we don’t always have everything ready at curtain.
The first monologue you mention is “Wherever is Her(e)” by Somebody Jones, performed by Hillary Dadio-Perrone and directed by Nicole Perry. You can view the stand-alone video at this link: https://www.facebook.com/mshannahlogan/videos/10157711353384117/
The second piece, “7pm in New York” was written by Ashley Lara, performed by Heather Warren, and directed by Carly Bodnar. The stand-alone video has Carly’s name incorrectly listed as Cody Bodnar, but Carly is correct. Link is here: https://www.facebook.com/mshannahlogan/videos/10157715442244117/
The third piece is “Eliana” and is written by Elisabeth Speckman, performed by Jennifer Laine Williams, and directed by Jeneffa Soldatic. Jeneffa is Australian, and she recently recovered from Covid-19. Link here: https://www.facebook.com/mshannahlogan/videos/10157715430989117/
The fourth piece, “Her Own Space” was written by AK Abeille, performed by Kay-Megan Washington, and directed by Kila Kitu. https://www.facebook.com/mshannahlogan/videos/10157715382559117/
The final piece in your article is “The Lockdown Song” and was a true team effort. The monologue was written by Hannah Logan, performed by Tara Sampson, and directed by Hannah Logan. The music for the song was written by Willem Oosthuysen, and the lyrics by Bill Nelson.
Of note, we have since shifted to a bi-weekly format since the workload was overwhelming. The next show will be Friday, July 3. We are based in San Diego, California, and we are on Pacific Time.
All of the stand-alone videos for all of the shows can be viewed on this page. https://www.facebook.com/events/1417131878461230/?active_tab=discussion
It is the Facebook event page, but you need to click on the “Discussion” tab in order to find the videos and commentary.
Thank you again, much appreciated. Best regards,
– Ron Logan
Marvellous, thanks - all names changed - I think there were only 2 out of that list which I had correct!! )) hopefully all's good now. Cheers )Delete
I'm Hannah, the other producer and sometimes bumbling,Lord-please-send-a-tech-director-so-we-have-more-time host :) and I also wanted to express my gratitude for putting some of your artistic attentions across the pond. If you would like to keep abreast of future Logan Squared Productions events check out www.logansquaredproductions.com We took two weeks off from live TITC shows to collect material tailored for a Black Lives Matter show and last week, also for that show, we created this videoReplyDelete
It now has nearly 5000 views since Saturday evening PDT.
We produced it to support Black Americans still fighting here for equal rights after 400 years of oppression and racism. While I realize it may seem like self-promotion, it is not. It is TRULY an attempt to help get our Black artists and other Black Americans the support they have deserved for too long.
And Ron and I have been impressed with the support they have received from the UK and other countries. Then we researched racism in the UK, and realized it's not exclusive to America... but of course the reason things are a disaster here is because America thinks it's always just about us.
Thanks for being gracious enough to watch our theatrical efforts despite us residing in the most obnoxious country in the world.