Shoreditch Town Hall has been buzzing in the past 5 weeks with the Roundabout Season in town. And at the heart of the experience are our wonderful volunteer ushers, who have been giving up their time to help create a friendly front of house experience and pass on their passion for theatre and new writing.
So who better to tell us about the ROUNDABOUT experience and what they think of the shows:
Name: Ariane Barnes
How are you finding the Roundabout experience?
The Roundabout Season has been very rewarding for me, I feel like I am doing something useful with my time on a Friday night and Its always a pleasure to see the other ushers and staff at Shoreditch, its a lovely team.
What’s your favorite part of the Roundabout Auditorium?
I’m very taken by the lighting set up, the guys let me have a go on the lighting board during the introductions evening and I felt like a little kid! When you add the structure of the actual stage ( being in quite a small round) and how intimately it involves audience members, it really does give it all a very unique ambience.
Which plays have you seen so far?
I’ve seen The Sound of Heavy Rain by Penny Skinner and ‘heard’ ( from a different position in the room as an usher) One Day When We Were Young by Nick Payne.
Which one would you recommend and why?
I’d recommend The Sound of Heavy Rain…
It’s an experience that melds the unique qualities you would find in a classic American cop caper à la ‘Dick Tracy’ and the gritty reality of modern day London and British actors. It is presented in a unique and highly entertaining way in this auditorium.
Give us your 140 character review of the play…
Right from the start this play sets out to be very different from the normal theatrical experience. Penny Skinner’s writing and the unique ambience created in the intimate space of the roundabout auditorium, provide for this in droves.
Immersed in smoke and sultry music, the audience is instantly transported into the American film noire genre, and skillfully brought back to our gritty London streets by the charming style of delivery given to us by the cast.
All the actors here are to be highly commended for their ability to weave a very British undercurrent into a play written as an expression of both the American genre and the very real, very pressing issues in modern-day Britain.
Therein lies the genius of the writing. This play contains both an expression of what we as an audience die for; the beauty, the music, the intrigue but also a much needed, good hard slap in the face courtesy of the stinging realism in the second half, put to us in a searing duologue showcasing Kate O’Flynn’s emotive, straight-talking, desperation in the face of an emotionally serious situation.
Yes, there will be singing and dancing and a bloody good laugh or two! But ultimately there is a finely crafted message here… the audiences journey through fantasy towards reality is reflective of the characters needs to explore their own psyche’s. And in some cases have their whole ‘constructed world’ completely fall down around them like a house of cards… How long can people stay lost in a fantasy until reality comes calling?
Entertaining and thought provoking theatre.