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REVIEW: Tangerines at Newcastle Alphabetti

Tangerines by Lydia Brickland

Newcastle Alphabetti Theatre

Until Saturday 30th July 2023 at 5pm

A beautifully charming comedy has landed in Newcastle and is well worth a tea time trip to the theatre.

Fast forward 10 years. Princess Charlotte is in her first year at Durham University and has decided to join the Dance Society. It is an obvious choice, after all she has been taking lessons since she was three. The President of DanceSoc has decided to partner her up with, after a security check, Kae. Kae has just left her dance partner and needs someone who can quickly learn her dance routine before a competition.

What makes Lydia Brickland's script interesting is that Charlotte, like many students, is in a position to explore her own feelings away from "that family". She may have little in common with a dance partner from Stockport that was only able to take up dancing at 14 as she was given access to "a scheme." But at long last Charlotte can step away from her public image and explore her own sexuality. A situation made easier as she fancies Rae but not helped by the fact that a security / body guard called Alex is posted outside their rehearsal space.

As the audience enter the venue Romana Meyrat, as Charlotte, is warming up ahead of the first rehearsal. The show only works if the audience accepts that she is developing a relationship with Hannah Mullaney's Kae character. Fortunately both actors quickly develop the onstage chemistry almost as fast as their characters relationship blossoms. The also work well as a dancing pair. The whoops from the audience at the audience show are genuine as they are rooting for the characters.

The story is also full of very funny light hearted moments. The absurdity of a over excited Charlotte trying to fit in with an ordinary person gets many of the early laughs.

So this is that perfect five star fringe show that can be so difficult to find at bigger fringe festivals such as the one in the Scottish capital. Clever script, tight direction and choreography, a cast that you can believe in and a nice couple of twists in the tale make this worth a try.

Review: Stephen Oliver

Photos: Jennifer Kehl

Cast & Creatives:

Charlotte         Romana Meyrat

Kae         Hannah Mullaney

Director                                                   Bethany McHugh

Assistant Director         Constance Des Marais

Movement Director & Choreographer Emily Charlotte Jones

Intimacy Coordinator         Katie Burke

Lighting Designer         Carey Chomsoonthorn

Illustrator Sally Mullaney


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