Wednesday 16th September 2009 - Scarlet lights Theatre Company Performs Retail is Detail at Write to Speak at Hull Truck Theatre
By Danielle Rhodes
Retail Is Detail is undoubtedly a 'maverick' production of contemporary comedy, embodying a highly versatile and compatible cast as rare as rocking horse shit. From start to finish the audience is inflamed by the radiance from the performer's energy and fast pace scenes.
The play displays a young educated girl facing unemployment, regrettably a conventional product of the current recession. In her despairing attempt to find employment she accepts the first job available; a sales assistant at a local supermarket, Ladle.
The production embarks on a journey of her first day as she observers and gets to know the extravagant customers and co-workers. Scarlet Lights Theatre Company's performance fuel is evidently manifested in the group's years of strong solid friendship and should be looked on proudly as a true inspiration.
SLTC's competent use of observation has thus resulted in an honest yet of course exaggerated portrayal of the nature of their home town, Hull.
The hilarity of their characterizations become apparent as the opening scene unstitches, yet sewn into the humour lies a political subtext, expressing a vast majority of society's opinions such as tax paying, the smoking ban, and the underestimated reality of the workplace etc., perhaps acting as a voice for Hull; raising current topics and creatively transporting them via their witty comedy and thought out crafting of each scene.
One aspect in particular sticks in my mind, the productions poster. The poster clearly states 'Leave your preconceptions at the door', thus impelling me to consider my initial assumptions.
Admittedly feminism crossed my mind; a typical assumption commonly made when presented with an all female cast. Perhaps the case but certainly not the principle theme of Scarlet Lights.
Retail Is Detail is a perfect example of the depth of truth they wish to heighten. This performance light-heartedly captures the issue of sexual harassment within the workplace, an issue that is commonly associated with the male being the perpetrator. This particular production proposes that this is not perpetually the case, evident in the portrayal of the harassment of a female employer on female workers.
The cast looked deeper into different aspects surrounding the issue, the outcome being the balancing out of the sexes and therefore should not be automatically stamped as feminists but in fact considered as post-feminists.
This production contains the odd swear word and minor sexual references. A show that audiences from every walk of life will have a good laugh from.
Regarding a review, I have gone a little deep but I am sure that is not the intention of Scarlet Light's and I must say from the reaction of the audience their intentions for a relaxed evening of pure comedy have been met; I and many others left the theatre trying to force our cheeks back after laughing throughout.
What makes Scarlet Lights special is the fact that the majority of the cast are full time lecturers and constantly working on new material preparing for up and coming shows and short films, yet their comedy does not seem to be rationed or limited. They should be especially proud of transforming a friend of mine and perhaps more audience members from 'Theatre's not really my thing' to 'When shall we see another?' Congratulations Scarlet Lights.
Emma Wilson, Helen Julia Smith, Lucy Thurlow and Kerrie Louise Marsh of Scarlet Lights with Mike Watts
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Tony Walsh and Dennis Just Dennis at Hull Truck - Wednesday 15th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
The third and final Write to Speak event of this season at the Hull Truck Theatre on Wednesday 15th July, was headlined by two nationally acclaimed performance poets, Dennis Just Dennis and Tony Walsh, who both hail from Manchester.
The nights entertainment was introduced by local poet Joe Hakim who was, in effect 'on the subs bench' as far as performing on these occasions go.
Joe has a bigger challenge and I dare say a bigger audience to present himself to at the fourth
Latitude Festival in Suffolk where he is performing in the poetry arena on Sat 18th and
Sun 19th July.Read more...
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak featuring Luke Wright at Hull Truck - Monday 29th June 09 By Mark Walmsley
After attending the first Write to Speak session back in May featuring Mike Watts, Joe Hakim and Mandi Lowe, I certainly wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to attend the second instalment with Luke Wright on Monday night.
I arrived at pretty much the same time as the last Write to Speak performance at about 7.20 pm for an 8.00
Reviews, Films - Emma Rugg's Directions Tour By Steve Rudd
It's fair to say that it has been relatively quiet on the Emma Rugg front over the past couple of years. I, for one, thought she'd relocated to the United States in the wake of the Directions Tour she undertook there with Henry Doss in 2007. Having first made contact through the BBC radio show Raw Talent in 2003, Emma had visited Henry in the states on a couple of occasions prior to heading over to hit the Read more...
Reviews, Arts - Adrian Johnson: All Wound Up - Red Gallery exhibition, March-April 2009 By Philip Wincolmlee-Barnes
I am currently re-reading John Carey's The Intellectuals and The Masses, a fascinating (and sometimes troubling) survey of how the former regarded the latter from the late 19th Century until the 1930's.
He charts a course via Nietzsche's theories of 'the Superman vs. the common people' (guess his preference
Reviews, Theatre - Write to Speak at Hull Truck - Wednesday 27th May 09 By Mark Walmsley
Having found the thisisUll website by accident while looking for an
outlet for my hobby and passion, Writing, I was welcomed by Cilla after an initial
contact who took a page of my work I submitted and pasted it on the World Wide Web as
seen, titled as The Right Hand of God. In addition to this, she asked me if I would be
interested in attending the Write to Speak gig at the Hull Truck on Wednesday 27th May.
Reviews, Theatre - Funny Turns and the Opening of The New Hull Truck Theatre By Gary Clark
I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the opening gala night of the very
impressive Hull Truck Theatre to get a first hand look at the new venue and to see the
opening night of the latest John Godber play, Funny Turns.
The company went to great expense to make all the invited guests welcome with vats of free champagne and a choice of wines already poured out for the 440 guests to gorge
Reviews, Films - AWAYDAYS at The Bradford Film Festival By Margaret J Shillingford
When Carty meets Elvis at a Bunnymen gig, they fall headlong into a volatile friendship that each of them aches for but neither can control. Violent, sexy and funny, Awaydays is a blade-sharp rites-of-passage that buzzes with the post-punk energy of its late-70s Liverpool setting.
Based on the classic novel by Kevin Sampson, and pulsating to a soundtrack of
Joy Division, The Cure, Read more...
Reviews, Films - The Confession By Steve Rudd
Expertly directed by Dave Kebo and Rudi Liden, The Confession is an extraordinary movie for many and varied reasons, not least because it was shot all in one take. Another major reason why the movie is so unique comes down to the fact that it is 'interactive' and features three and a half addictive hours of multi-angle footage.
Having been shot via a multitude of strategically placed CCTV
Reviews, Films - Slumdog Millionaire By Ruth
I don't go to the movies, and I don't usually enjoy love stories.
My idea of a good love story is Thelma and Louise, Crash, or possibly Monster
(with Charlize Theron).
The darker element of humanity is what I find appealing.
I went with my family to view this film and was utterly blown away.
We left the cinema feeling as though we'd been slapped hard across the
face and somehow enjoyed it.
Reviews, Books - The Dance of the Pheasodile by Tim Roux (Upfront Publishing) Reviewed by Nick Quantrill
With his sixth novel, Hull native Tim Roux, is certainly one of the city's most prolific writers. A committed champion of all things East Yorkshire, the publication of his crime story, The Dance of The Pheasodile is his well deserved opportunity to take the limelight.
With a fulfilling job, a successful wife and two beautiful children, Keith McGuire leads an idyllic middle-class life in the south of England.
Reviews, Books - How Not To Manage by Adam Kirkman and Daniel Mayhew (Quick Brown Fox Publications) Reviewed by Nick Quantrill
Think you're a great manager? Think you know how to get the best out of people whilst
increasing your personal performance and worth? Think again - you can be better -
it's simply a matter of attitude. If this all sounds a bit too much like hard word,
fear not, this new spoof management manual from York's Adam Kirkman and Daniel Mayhew
is here to
Reviews, Books - What Do I Know Anyway? by Jamie Mcgarry Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Writing poetry is a painstaking craft, and it's clear from the outset that Scarborough-based
Jamie McGarry spends a lot of time in perfecting his poems.
An award-winning poet at a young age, Jamie recently unleashed What Do I Know Anyway? - a wry look at life in the twenty-first century.
Consisting of twenty-nine superb poems which are spread over seventy-five pages, there
really is something for everybody in this,
Reviews, Films - The Wave (Germany, 2008) and Hunger (UK/Ireland, 2008): Fascism & Faeces By Philip Wincolmlee Barnes
European cinema has a substantial post-war tradition of coming to terms with, exploring or challenging 20th Century fascism and, in particular, Germany's uneasy goose-stepping heritage, its subsequent national 'identity crisis', and its more recent spasms of political unrest.
For example, the flirtatious - and some might say notorious - excesses
of Night Porter (Dirk BogardeRead more...
Reviews, Books - Mosaic by Clive Ashman Reviewed by Tim Roux
Officially launched last September at Brough's Petuaria Centre, the town where it happened, on the 60th anniversary of the worst unsolved crime in British archaeology, Mosaic is the novel based by writer Clive Ashman on its known facts.
If you have ever read Marguerite Yourcenar's The Abyss, a classic and
intensely haunting reconstruction of daily life in sixteenth century Europe
Reviews, Books - The Mermaid Chair by Tony Flynn Reviewed by Tim Roux
In 1980, Tony Flynn published A Strange Routine, a compelling
map to his terrain of loss - the loss of his mother, of his wife, of his child,
of his past. Twelve years later, his Body Politic came out, another outright
masterpiece, this time including an extended mourning for the victims of state repression.
It has been sixteen years since then,