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MAGIC CIRCLE at the Wimbledon Studios

Published by: Douglas McFarlane on 15th Aug 2017 | View all blogs by Douglas McFarlane

MAGIC CIRCLE

 

It’s always intriguing when you walk into an auditorium to take your seat, and there’s activity on the stage. Usually it’s someone sweeping, playing music or walking purposefully in full costume to set the scene. In the case of MAGIC CiRCLE at the Wimbledon Studios, a small fringe like venue run by the Ambassadors Theatre Group, there’s a guy in a circle sitting cross legged and finishing the arrangement of items and chalking symbols around him. He continues carefully and quietly for the duration of the 20 or so audience members to slowly trickle in and take their seats. It worked so well, that I realised we had a good production here with good patience and focus from the actor.

 

There’s a change in the lights, the audience quieten down and the actor on stage delivers his first line clearly and succinctly, with a tone of voice that immediately tells me he’s experienced with great projection. He sets the scene on why he’s there, a kind of evil hunter and in the blink of an eye, another actor enters. He’s the Detective from the CID who is here to solve a murder and is keen to understand why this man is here.

 

What takes place in the next hour, deserves much praise. When a play is a two hander, the ability to keep the audience gripped is in their hands. With some of the best acting I’ve seen on stage since I saw James McAvoy in the West End, this performance takes on another dimension.  The tight intelligent dialogue between these two characters is rattled off to perfection. They moved beyond just delivering lines, to having a conversation, one without hesitation, with clear conviction and tonal range that fits the emotions and frustrations that are building up.

 

Actor James Hyland also produced the play and it feels like a showcase for him, one that highlights his talents.  That’s not to say that Michael Shon in the role of the Professor is any less talented, but Hyland has most of the dialogue and is able to take a journey through a variety of different states seamlessly and effortlessly.  A truly epic performance and one that I was delighted to have seen.

 

MAGIC CIRCLE is touring a few locations this year, but you can find out more about the production company at http://www.brotherwolf.org.uk/

 


SEP 16 @ 7.30pm

BARTON UPON HUMBER - ROPERY HALL

Maltkiln Road, Barton upon Humber, North Lincolnshire, DN18 5JT

01652 660 380 www.roperyhall.co.uk

 

NOV 1 @ 7.30pm

STAFFORD - GATEHOUSE THEATRE

Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LT

01785 254 653 www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk

 

 

 

Douglas McFarlane is London based editor of UK Theatre Network

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