Phantasmagoria (1 star)

This article is from 2011.


Depressing, lazy and naïvely acted

This glum story about friendship betrayed aims for something moving and grown-up, but isn’t helped by performances that vary from winsome to teeth-grindingly awful (it takes more than pouting, stomping and shouting to represent a child). The lazily episodic structure forfeits both dramatic momentum and emotional involvement, and the dialogue is so clunky you could stub your toe on it.

Spotlites @ The Merchants’ Hall, 220 5911, until 29 Aug, 8.35pm, £7 (£5).


  • 1 star

Kit is in hospital, Florrie returns after 7 years and Malone seduces a man who thinks she works in pest control. Phantasmagoria is a new piece that is the winner of the Manchester-In-Fringe Theatre Festival Audience Choice Award 2011. Does friendship mature or freeze you in eternal childhood? Three friends reunite in a…


1. Fin24 Aug 2011, 1:55pm Report

What an absurd review of such an astounding play. Depressing: yes it has moments of emotional trauma, but so moving and touching, and with a subtley optimistic ending. Lazy: this is laughable. There is not an emotional stone left unturned and the dynamics of friendship are achingly scrutinised. The clever set and thought-provoking use of the over head projector are also far from lazy. And naively acted? How the 3 main girls could age themselves first to young women and equally play exceptionally convincing children is hardly naive.
Alex also fails to mention the fantastic character of 'clunkily' charming Moncrief who provides the laughs and wins our sympathy in this emotional rollercoaster.
Anyone who has ever had a friend, or felt like they may lose one, could relate to this beautiful play, and I would highly reccommend it. I fear this is where Alex may have wildly missed the mark in his unfair criticism. SEE IT NOW.

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