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Crimes Camera Action Theatre Royal Bath Review

Crimes Camera Action Theatre Royal Bath Review 
Bath’s very own New Old Friends company are back! Prior to a national tour in 2022, the latest offering in a genre they’ve made their own, ingenious comedy writing, coupled with multiple roles, and fast paced action, goes to Hollywood this time into the world of the jaundiced private eye, Stan Shakespeare upon whose broad shoulders the outcome of this latest case rests. There’s been a terrible incident on a film set where a glamorous young starlet is stabbed by accident, and apparently due to a mix-up of props. Cue action for a hilarious hour or so in which the stalwart cast of four play numerous different parts at a breakneck pace, with frantic changes of clothes and quickfire dialogue in crazy pursuit of the plot which has more twists and turns than a labyrinth.

This gem is written by Feargus Woods Dunlop and he stars alongside Heather Westwell, Kirsty Cox and Mark Collier, playing the detective Stan Shakespeare. He’s aided and abetted in this by some ingenious side effects to set the mood, a noisy train rattles past his shabby down-town office making the desk shake, dreamy violins create suspense and crashing crescendos herald high drama. He’s the narrator rather after the style of Humphrey Bogart.
 Crimes Camera Action Theatre Royal Bath Review

Mark Collier plays Shakespeare’s English assistant obsessed with Hollywood films and starlets (so much so he pays Shakespeare rather than the other way around) and is hilarious victim of the spoonerisms when in the company of beautiful women. Also, he is Hank Castory, the bow-legged cowboy star of the unlikely titled ‘Cowboys and Chorus Girls in Space’ – they don’t make ‘em like that anymore! The audience were weak with laughter when he and Kirsty Cox as Robotta acted out rewinding the film, whirling around the stage backwards in an except replica of the scene as it should be done forwards. Kirsty Cox is marvellous as Robotta (the robot, naturally), and also plays Gloria Raynes, an aspiring actress despite her lisp, and Nellie Nibbsely the production accountant, the only woman to find the dreary world of accountancy orgasmic.

Heather Westwell is amazing as a clutch of characters, Leigh, the starlet who dies, Trish Zucker the film’s director and many more; seamlessly and effortlessly changing from one to the other, whilst we the audience were desperately trying to stop laughing so we could keep up with the plot.

This is all too much and impossible to describe so I can only heartily recommend you go and see the play for yourself. The cast of four are outstanding and it’s such a clever production relying totally on them and very few props; I loved it and can’t wait for their next show!

Jacquie Vowles
Crimes Camera Action Theatre Royal Bath Review 

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