"Throughout the play, I felt a visceral connection with all the characters – when they were in love, my heart leaped, when they were in pain, I teared up - that’s how outstanding their performances were."
"With exceptional writing, the play’s clever monologues capture beautifully the mood and psychology of a football-crazed nation with all its obsession and passion. The actors are inspired and excellent: Tassell perfectly depicts the pissed-off fan who lives for football, Gould is convincing as a positive-thinking, entrepreneurial pop psychology advocate, and Kapoor expresses with ebullient enthusiasm Sheena’s defiant sports ambitions. The most complex, athletic and eclectic role of the schizoid Ricoh Arena is earnestly and superbly enacted by Westwood."
"The most captivating performance was undoubtedly provided by Sheetal Kapoor’s Ariel, whose bewitching grace supplied food for thought as well as a feast for the eyes. The most accurate word to describe Kapoor’s portrayal would be to say ‘chimerical’ – a cosmic clash of sinister, snake-like qualities aroused through her willowy physicality in order to heighten her haunting presence, in contrast with bursts of immaturity and innocence that evokes sympathy for his underlying vulnerability. Kapoor really evokes the questions surrounding power struggles within The Tempest, for although Ariel seems the obvious puppet master that orchestrates the illusion, the simple final gesture of kissing Prospero on the cheek provides a conclusive stab of pathos in terms of wanting to achieve both praise and affection – a sensation that more can relate than they may care to admit."
"As you might expect from Get Over It Productions (in their ninth Camden Fringe appearance), the cast are excellent. Sheetal Kapoor, in particular, gives a mischievous, subtly physical and unearthly performance as Ariel, her long elegant arms always moving and swaying, as insubstantial as air."
"Sheena Singh is a trainee female referee imprisoned for doing a thousand ‘keepy-uppies’ in protest at the ban but ultimately realises her ambition to referee the first game after the restrictions are lifted. The role is played by Sheetal Kapoor who displays enthusiasm and energy in the part. Sheetal delivers most of her performance to a PC, a picture of her sister, or on the telephone but despite this her performance is strong enough to make us want to share her experience."
Pristine in Blue, a play by Neil Beardmore, on at Arts Central Milton Keynes and directed and produced by Rosemary Hill, is a very good production. Neil Beardmore, a well known and proliferate painter, is also an extremely talented writer. He’s been writing plays for many years, but Pristine in Blue is a play close to his heart and he has been working on for some time. I for one will be at the front of the queue to see any future plays from his pen.
Pristine in Blue, a two act play, revolves around three people. Dwayne, Sabeena and Laurie. Dwayne is in love with Sabeena and she with him. Dwayne wants to fight big business and wants Sabeena wants to join him. Sabeena will do this if Dwayne promises his love and a better life after the big ‘peaceful’ demonstration . In comes Laurie, ostensibly to help with the demo. He sets out to seduce Sabeena and run off with her. Whether he succeeds or not, is not for me to tell. Laurie is the perfect foil for Dwayne and Sabeena. The unfolding of events is very well measured and the denouement had me fully engaged. In this morality and love torn play there is much to recommend. There is humour which got the audience laughing and revelations which had them gasping. This is a play I would see again. The three actors Sheetal Kapoor, Shaun Cowlishaw and David Hemsted gave solid, accomplished performances. Impressive.
Congratulations to the playwright Neil Beardmore, and director Rosemary Hill. A great success.
This production by Neil Beardsmore and put on by The Play’s The Thing Theatre Company is on at 7:30pm each evening until Saturday at Arts Central, above the main railway station in Milton Keynes. The studio in this venue wasn’t ideal, especially in the heat. The audience were having to fan themselves with the programme sheets and the view of the stage was for many of us restricted.
That said the play itself was well worth the £8 entry. It is an examination in part of the anti-capitalist movement and how social movements operate and are policed. The other main theme is love and the nature of love and commitment.
The way in which patriarchy plays out in left wing politics on occasions is well examined as are aspects of what it means to be of mixed heritage in contemporary society.
The writing, as I heard somebody say on the way out, reminded them of John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and I can see why. This was the story in part of an angry young man.
The young cast of three: Sheetal Kappor, Shaun Cowlishaw and David Hemsted were excellent and were warmly applauded at the end of the show.
If you get the chance to see it I would highly recommend this show to you, but I would say take a bottle of drink in with you and a fan if you have one.
Written and directed by Khurum Khan, Rukhsati is a beautifully shot and highly effective short which tells of a close father/daughter relationship.
With the father, Bashir (Javed Khan) getting older and his health deteriorating, he wants his only daughter, Shenaz (Sheetal Kapoor) to get married and start her own life, but she’s reluctant to leave her father alone. As her wedding approaches, they go out for the day and Shenaz finds the strength to tell her father she doesn’t want to leave the home they share.
Overall, it’s hard to find fault with (Khurum) Khan’s film. Within the film’s running time of just 15 minutes, he has managed to construct an authentic, emotional and involving story about a dilemma many grown children and their ageing parents face.
However, in this case, it is Bashir who wants his daughter to leave and build a future with the good man he has picked out for her, while Shenaz wants things to remain the same. Over the years, she has assumed a motherly role and knows that if she leaves, her father would creep further into old age alone. She also values his friendship and wants to remain on their isolated farm, spending time with him as she did as a child. All of this comes through clearly with minimal exposition.
The film is lifted considerably by the acting of both (Javed) Khan and Kapoor, which is excellent throughout. They manage to convey an entirely believable father/daughter relationship, instilling their characters with great depth and warmth. They both fear for the future, but know deep down things have to change.
Wisely, (Khurum) Khan keeps the dialogue to the bare minimum, which prevents the film becoming too sentimental and maudlin. Instead, he lets the visual aspects drive the narrative. Indeed, it is the visual that almost takes centre stage here, as with its wind swept coastal landscape and galloping horses, Rukhsati is a true feast for the eyes.
However, at the heart of the film is the relationship between Bashir and Shenaz, and, to the credit of all involved, this is the part that will linger in the memory.
Excellent and highly recommended.