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Newbury Youth Theatre - Pieces of Us

21st May 2006.

Newbury Youth Theatre had to battle with the elements on Sunday evening as they presented Pieces of Us which had been developed in workshops based around the idea of Dreams.

As the rain hammered down on the roof of New Greenham Arts the opening sequence was in danger of being drowned out by the noise. As the lights fell the atmospheric whispering of “if I told you everything I know you would not sleep” actually worked with the rain to enhance the feeling that you were entering someone’s personal nightmare.

Elly Bridger-Wilkinson set a very high standard for the evening with the first of a series of intelligent monologues that linked the various segments of the evening. Her clear delivery battled with the heavy rain and won, in fact shortly afterwards the rain gave up the battle completely.

This was clearly a cast of committed youngsters enjoying themselves, at their best when working as a choreographed ensemble or solo they stumbled, ever so slightly, when required to improvise in smaller groups. A sense of focus and an ability to keep a straight face were occasionally lacking from some of the cast.

Director Marc Godfrey made excellent use of music to create some of the best moments of the night as the youngsters worked together and with the music to build energy and atmosphere.

The simple set of a few chairs provided all the scenes for the fragmented evening. The movement from one scene to the next was always carefully choreographed enabling the segments to ebb and flow in and out of each other in the style of a well directed if disjointed dream.

Peter Holdway gave a very convincing and controlled performance as he worked through the problem of being stuck to his chair during crucial moments of his life – a comic tour-de-force that was delivered with such sincerity that we were convinced by his aging and his ailment throughout.

Above all this was an enjoyable evening's entertainment from a confident young cast who worked best as a directed ensemble and captured their audience with their enthusiasm.