Tag Archives: Ambra Caserotti

Nevermore, Courtyard Theatre

18 Oct

After seeing Notion Theatre Company’s first production (Edges, Landor Theatre) earlier this year, I was quite excited when they announced their second production, the UK premiere of Nevermore. Nevermore is based on the work of Edgar Allen Poe with music by Matt Conner and a book by Grace Barnes. It cleverly interweaves his poems and short stories with his life to a haunting and dark tale of obsession.

I didn’t really know anything about the musical, but right from the start I was sucked into the atmosphere of Poe’s dark world. The songs fit this musical (and Poe’s poems) perfectly. They are truly haunting and beautiful, and in a strange way, exciting.

The cast was excellent throughout. Adam Bayjou (Edgar) more than held his own in an otherwise completely female cast, great voice and acting. To My Mother was beautiful. He was completely believable as the troubled poet.  I loved Joanna Kirkland’s  (Mother) voice. Erica Birtles was very sweet as Virginia. She really brought across the innocence and naivety of a young girl. Kimberley Newell’s (Whore) voice was stunning, especially her Eldorado and Dreams. Ambra Caserotti was great as Muddy, loved her in Annabel Lee as well as her scenes with Edgar. Anna Simmons as Elmira was very strong, she has a lovely voice. Her duet, Fairyland, with Edgar, was beautiful.

Amanda Black, Gabriella Flowers, Bethan Foresy, Rebecca Hickey, Kay Victoria Hindmarsh, Katie McHardy and Tanya Stephens as Village Women were great, too. They added a lot to the atmosphere of the musical and when they all sang at the same time/joined in it was amazing, e.g. the reprise of Eldorado, To My Mother, Silence and Annabel Lee. My favourite song was the last one, Dreams. It sounds like a cliché, but it really sent shivers down my spine.

I was surprised at how big the stage at the Courtyard Theatre is (compared to other fringe venues obviously), but they used the space very effectively and I really liked the choreography by Ellie Rutherford and the lightning (Tom Cooper). It all just works together perfectly.

Nevermore only runs until the 23rd October at the Courtyard Theatre. I’d highly recommend this production to everyone. It is very intense, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s an exciting new musical with an excellent, young  cast (and one of the strongest I’ve seen in any  fringe production). There are so many talented performers out there and I’m glad that Notion Theatre Company gives some of them a chance to shine and they definitely do.

I have seen many great fringe production in the past year, but Nevermore is up there with the best of them, so go and see it while you can!

You can book tickets online or phone 0844 477 1000. You can also follow Notion Theatre on Twitter to keep up with their next projects.

Edges at the Landor Theatre

1 Jun

I went to see Edges at the Landor Theatre tonight. It is a musical by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul about coming of age and self-discovery and is put on by the Notion Theatre Company, which was founded by two Arts Ed graduates, Michaela Cartmell-Hull and Billy Cullum,  to create more opportunities for graduates.

In short (no pun intended): it was great! It is one of the most talented casts I’ve ever seen and they worked so well together. It is very different to the show I saw two years ago at the Union Theatre, mainly because then it was a cast of four and there was a story fitted around the songs, which followed those four characters. This production features a cast of 18 incredibly talented young actors and actresses, whose vocals gave me goosebumps more than once.

I don’t want to single anyone out, but I’ll quickly go through some of my highlights.

“Caitlyn and Haley” was sung by Michaela Cartmell-Hull and Emily-Jane Morris. It is a beautiful song about two sisters slowly growing apart.

“I Once Knew”, about the death of their mother, is one of those songs that you can’t get out of your head for a while and was very well sung by two of the men.

“Man of my Dreams”, sung by Emily-Jane Morris again, is a hilarious song about, as the title already says, the man of her dreams.

The absolute highlight for me though was “Part of a Painting”, mainly sung by Lewis Grant, who was joined by the rest of the male cast members. It’s such a beautiful song itself, but the voices blended so well together that it was pure joy to watch/listen.

The only aspects of the show that I was less keen off were parts of the choreography. While it was very well done, I thought that it would have been better without the dancing in-between songs. It just tended to look cluttered, which is obviously due to the limited space at the Landor and might work better in another venue.

All in all, this is a wonderful production and I’m sure I’ll see many of the cast members in other productions in the future. It finishes its run this Sunday,  5th June, so you better be quick with booking tickets for it! You won’t regret it, I promise!