08 May 2015

Young And Hungry Servants

The Young and Hungry Arts Trust Ambassadors are a group of keen bean Year 12 & 13 students, who attend shows at Circa and others theatres throughout the year and write reviews.  They joined us at A Servant to Two Masters on Tuesday night.  Here are some of the reviews for you to enjoy!

"Live, Love, Laugh."

Reviewd by Tabatha Billington, St Catherine’s College

Circa’s production of A Servant to Two Masters, was both hilariously entertaining, while also thought provoking. From reading just the brief outline of the plot from the back of the programme, I knew I was in for an amusing evening full of laughs and inappropriately funny jokes. Two and a half hours later, I was not disappointed, I had a big smile on my face, and my stomach hurt from laughing so much. The cast, the costumes, the lighting and plot all were completely perfect, and flavoured the evening into one I shall always remember.

From the first entrance, with the characters dancing on stage, I was hooked, the set was well designed and inventive and used to the best of it’s ability, however, I found that the backdrops both looked quite similar, and so them being rearranged to show a change in location didn’t quite work as well as it could have, despite this one flaw in the evening, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the play. With slick, well practised staging and cues, stunts, fights, and sword duels, the show was comical without looking tacky. The plot was understandable and kept the audience absorbed in the world of Truffaldino and his tricks. A personal preference of mine, is when the actors involve the audience, which is exactly what they did last night, asking us for prompts, and using us to help their improv. The play was so well done, so comical, so captivating, that if I hadn’t been told in the Q&A afterwards that a lot of it was improvised, I never would have known. To me, this is the best kind of acting.

From the title, I was expecting a more serious play, yet with the disguises and large amounts of humour, girls dressing as boys, and the eccentric costumes, turned the play into something almost pantomime or shakespearian. There was almost a sense of it being a comedic take on Romeo and Juliet, with Florindo and Beatrice thinking that they were enemies but then once the disguises were removed, they remembered their lost love. With romance, sword fights, plot twists, humour and provocative themes, I feel that A Servant to Two Masters would be suitable for an audience of any age. The play had something for everyone, and I would definitely go see it again.
Keagan Carr Fransch plays the wise Smeraldina.  Photo by Stephen A'Court

Despite the humour and comical cover, when delving deeper into the themes in the play, one will find some quite inspirational themes, of what it truly means to be in the working class, shown through Truffaldino and how he just wants to make some decent money and have a good meal, yet doesn’t exactly use the best methods to get this. Also the theme of equal rights, shown through the maid Smeraldina who has a lot of sass and cheek, yet is still wise, and just wants to find love and help her mistress find that too. The main message I took from the play was ‘to be true to yourself’. With all the disguises and tricks and confusion and problems caused within the play, everything would have worked out easier if everyone had just been honest and true to who they were. But then of course, there would have been no play. I believe that this show was made to make people think about how we treat those who have less than us, and that if we have less than someone, does that make us worth less than them?

Overall, my night was full of laughs and fun, the show was great, and enjoyable and everyone left the theatre more positive and happy than when they arrived, the cast were great fun to talk to afterwards, and it was a nice time to catch up with some old acquaintances. I would highly recommend this play to anyone, and although I didn’t have to pay for my ticket, I believe that it would definitely be worth the $46. I wish the cast good luck for the rest of their season, and I hope each performance is as enjoyable to be in, as it was for us to watch.

"A Brilliant Performance"

Reviewed by Rebekah Ward, Taita College
A Servant to Two Masters was truly a brilliant performance. I read a short description of what I was getting myself into, and I wasn’t excited. The description does not do the amazing  performance justice. I was thoroughly pleased that I had been mistaken, thrilled to be deceived by the short description. I loved the energy , I felt for each and every character, and I laughed all night. The comedy was brilliantly timed and I believe the actors complimented each other well. I had my doubts about the set, however after the interval I feel that the retractable slats added atmosphere and well thought out scene changes. The lighting was minimal as was the sound, which really caused the brief lead’s and music used to have a larger impact and meaning. The costumes I feel symbolised each characters personality and behavior during the play. I feel that it would be a true sin to miss this masterpiece. It was beautiful in every way with each choice both careful and complimenting.

"A Servant to Two Masters"

Simon Leary stars as Truffaldino, photo by Stephen A'Court
Reviewed by Thomas Simpson, St Patrick’s College

A Servant to Two Masters is a played presented by Circa Theatre, which is an adaptation of an Italian Comedia piece written in the 1700s. It tells the story of a servant, Truffaldino, who in search of more than one meal a day, decides to work for two masters instead of one. He encounters some difficulty along the way, as one would expect working two jobs, but still uses his charm and trickery to make it work, even fitting in time for a love interest.

On first impression on my entrance to the show, I thought that it was a rather intriguing set up. I had no idea what to expect, the only clues that I had was of the style of housing on the backdrop which allowed me to picture myself in an olden day Italian town, but that was all that was given away.

Therefore I was given no indication of how good the performances were going to be. I found that most of the actors were able to really put across to the audience the true nature of their character, and it made for an all round fantastic performance. I particularly enjoyed the performance of Simon Leary as Truffaldino. I found his charm to pair perfectly with the character of Truffaldino, his athleticism and humour make him enjoyable and relatable, and his involvement of the audience really helped me to understand the story, which was hard to follow in the beginning. I also found that the personal monologues of all the characters that were directed at the audience a huge help in understanding what was going on in the play. Having not researched the play beforehand I did get lost in some places, particularly at the beginning, but the characters showing their train of thought helped me to understand the motives and the plot.

In conclusion, I came away from the play with an overall happy and content feeling. The laughs and overall vibrant vibe of the play made sure I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. I came to it not knowing what to expect, but I came away with a smile on my face. If you’re looking for a play to make you smile and laugh a little, I thoroughly recommend this play, it is a must see and you must go along to Circa to see it as soon as you can. It runs from the 2nd to the 30th of May.

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