LION & UNICORN/LINCOLN ROAD To 5 December.

Peterborough.

LION & UNICORN and LINCOLN ROAD
by Philip de Gouveia by Danusia Iwaszko.

Eastern Angles Tour to 5 December 2009.
Runs 1hr 35min One interval.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 29 November at The Fleet Community Centre.

Local plays for local audiences.
After tramping rural East Anglia for over a half-century, Eastern Angles have discovered urban Peterborough. Performing either free or, as at Italian community centre The Fleet, with tickets at £3 for over-16s, this brief tour isn’t going to break any banks.

It’s the conclusion to the first of Angles’ five annual ‘Platform Peterborough’ seasons, which has seen these new one-acters playing in offices and schools, while Peterborough primary pupils have been involved in separate script-writing sessions.

It’s a pity the pupils’ plays haven’t been on show. They are, unlike this pair, by people from Peterborough; strangely, no local adult writer is involved. Perhaps that will have changed by 2013.

Each between 35 and 40 minutes, these plays have specific local settings, reflecting the historical and modern city. Visiting schools, Lion & Unicorn (emblems long-adorning the front of Peterborough’s Guildhall) would best suit primary classes.

Philip de Gouveia’s script has the spelled-out explanatory quality of children’s plays from a century or half-century ago, while modern 21-year old Edie, on her 21st birthday, is not the modern drunk she initially appears but someone as polite as a character at an Edwardian tea-party.

Yet de Gouveia has some memorable lines “She’s a gust of wind away from the after-lifer,” as Edie sways on a high platform, or her “You’re clearly full of heritage,” to the Lion. There’s a useful contrast between Lion’s rebellious loudness and the shyly contented, all-white Unicorn.

Danusia Iwaszko’s Lincoln Road could speak to the city’s older youth, while providing sterner stuff for adults. The title refers to a long thoroughfare housing many ethnic groups who have come to Peterborough; a thriving street till violence a couple of years ago (to which Iwaszko obliquely refers) cast a pall over the place.

The plays share the idea of Home, and several characters in Lincoln Road’s kaleidoscope talk about homes they have left, or a new home here. A lot’s based on interviews with people, with preparations for a Carnival acting as a melting-pot for experiences happy, sad, hopeful or negative. If nothing’s gone into deeply, there’s plenty for people to recognise.

Lion & Unicorn
Edie: Hetty Abbott.
Unicorn: Rachael Barrington.
Lion: Babajide Fado.

Director: Lucy Kerbel.
Designer: Rahja Shakiry.
Sound: Penny Griffin.
Movement: Joanna Croll.

Lincoln Road:
Gianna/Mike/Man/Safe: Theo Herdman.
Nadeeda/George/Lucia/Woman/Dorota/elanora: Natalie Macaluso.
Awande/Ryan/Emilio/Ayesha/Gabriel: Law Thompson.

Director: Naomi Jones.
Designer: Rahja Shakiry.
Sound: Penny Griffin.

2009-12-01 16:47:04

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