Eh, Bill Who Wrote Your Plays Then?

Nicholas Collett Productions

Your Bard

The Walker Theatre

22nd September 2017

 

Making a welcome return back to Theatre Severn’s Walker Theatre this evening was the highly uncluttered and totally watchable Nicholas Collett. Your Bard, is as you may well have worked out, a play about the life of Shakespeare and how he came to write his plays…or did he?

The opening paragraph of this review declared the player to be the uncluttered Nicholas Collett and the reason is plain; if there’s no need or purpose for something on his stage then it won’t be there. This is the epitome of portable theatre and the action suffers the none for the loss of frippery. Collett can bring the drama out of his text from his very soul and has no need for a busy or cluttered set. Just evidence of a very fine and skilfull actor.

The play is in two halves. Initially one is met by Professor Another and he is about to give his lecture laying out almost without a shadow of a doubt that an ill-educated, Sixteenth century Warwickshire lad, could not have possibly become the great playwright the we today hold in such esteem.

With a delicious hint of hubris and a load of arrogance the Professor lays out his case, suggesting people like Marlowe or Edward De Vere being the most likely candidates. Without a thought of how he could possibly be wrong the avuncular professor took his bow and went off to malign the Bard elsewhere.

Naturally the second half of the show the Bard himself appears and sets the record straight. From the clever way the evidence is presented there can be no doubt who really wrote the plays, As most have always believed they were each and every one of them scribed by William’s own creative hands. It may well be an academic argument anyway. Surely we know the plays so well, as bricks in our very fabric that whoever wrote them should surely be known as Shakespeare?  Buts that’s for another day!  (Stop it! I'm just messin with you)

Nicholas Collett is a popular face at the Walker Theatre and his performances always create an interest. He works alone and that is an incredibly lonely furrow to plough when you are struggling with a show,  Mr. Collett wouldn't argue with the former but I am sure he has very little experience of the latter.

He can hold an audience spellbound. With a lovable side of fun to his characters he wins hearts. But the work that he puts in is record breaking. There is a responsibility one has to oneself: if you are going to ask a lion to open it’s mouth so you can put your head in it, it is prudent to ensure you can get your head back out again after. Anyone who has ever trodden the boards alone will understand just how good Nicholas Collett is, as he makes it look so easy.

Not only is this show a beautifully crafted and incredibly witty testament to the work of the Bard it is also testament to the work of this very gifted performer. If you can’t catch this play this time watch your Theatre Severn guide to make sure you can catch this very real force in British Theatre when he comes this way again.

This is a Five Star Review

Owen J.Lewis   

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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