The Tower Archive

Reaction to our shows
The Tower Archive

Reaction to our shows

Here's a selection of comments we received on our productions during 2018 ...

Table Table

For any London friends out there I urge you to go and see this terrific play with a great cast. Who knew a table could elicit.
(Audience member C.H.)

Director Simona Hughes tackles Tanya Ronder's striking play at the lovely new Tower Theatre in Stoke Newington, with a steady hand and some exquisite theatrical touches, relying more on skill than a large budget. Standout performances include Dickon Farmer as Gideon the child, teenager, young man and grandad, and Valerie Paul as a seductive prostitute, loving nun and morally challenged hippy.
(Alison Goldie for Remote Goat. Awarded 4 stars.)

This was an extraordinary production. Everyone was brilliant resulting in much heightened emotions.
(Audience Member S.H.)

Just watched Table, amazing performance from the cast, lovely to see this happening in Stokey!
(Audience Member D.T.)

The Seagull The Seagull

Lucy Moss steals the show as Arkadina, an actress full of jealousy and insecurity. Rachael Harrison's Nina is also excellent, moving from a gauche teenager in Act One, full of wild dreams about a career on the stage, to someone who has clearly been through a lot of trauma by the end. Chambers also develops from a pretentious, overly sensitive artist, to someone who is profoundly melancholic.
(The production) captures the arc of the play, and its characters, far better than many of the major professional productions. Recommended.

(Matthew Partridge for Remote Goat. Awarded 4 stars.)

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird

Excellent production of To Kill a Mocking Bird with splendid acting, well directed, great sets and costumes - a really enjoyable and moving evening. I love the book and the film, and didn't know if this would compare well, but I was impressed at it being both a faithful rendering close to the spirit of book and film, yet with its own captivating identity. Congratulations to everyone involved in the show. A most impressive production. I enjoyed it immensely!
(Audience member A.D.)

Ruby Mendoza-Willcocks' energetic and committed portrayal of Scout is a highlight. Mendoza-Willcocks perfectly captures her precocious innocence; she is entirely believable throughout. Emily McCormick, who gives a memorable performance as Scout's friend Dill, provides welcome humour in the midst of tension. The courtroom scene, which is the highlight of the novel, is the highlight here, too, thanks to the quiet gravitas of Atticus (Simon Lee) and Tom (Jordan Duvigneau) and the contrasting anger of his accusers. They perfectly capture the injustice of the situation : Atticus' direct address to the audience makes us complicit in Tom's treatment and invested in his fate ... (The) Tower Theatre Company has captured the heart of Lee's novel and created a production that is as effecting as it is enjoyable.
(Harriet Corke for The Spy in the Stalls)

Really fantastic night - great cast, great sets and right on the doorstep!
(Audience member L.H.)

Henry V Henry V

Penny Tuerk (deservedly taking the honours of uttering the first words in the new venue) made a splendid job of the linking speeches and her remarkably clear diction fully demonstrated the acoustic possibilities of the new space ...
The production opted for a band of just fourteen players and employed gender neutral casting to present a gamut of characters from royalty to low life and with many of the performers getting to play both English and French participants. Preeminent among these was the Henry of Dan Draper. The character, of course, has some of the most rousing speeches in the whole Shakespeare canon and Draper did them full justice. We also got to see the lighter side of the character in the late scene where Henry woos the French princess Katherine - a delightful performance by Ailsa Dann. Rather earthier wooing was to be found in the scenes between Mistress Quickly (Anna Dimdore) and Pistol, a wonderfully coarse Ian Hoare. His interaction with his partners in crime Bardolph and Nym (Sangita Modgil and Ed Malcomson) provided much of the black humour of the early scenes which took a chilling turn just before the interval. I also enjoyed Malcolmson's supercilious turn as the Constable of France and the even more supercilious Dauphin of Luke Owen. Simon Vaughan's doubling of Fluellen (channelling Windsor Davies) and Alice (channelling...well, I'm not quite sure) was another highlight. Other doubled and carefully differentiated roles were taken by Katherine Kennet, Sara Nower, John Morton, Rosanna Preston and Andrew Plaistowe ...
Under some taut direction this was a pacey, muscular reading of the text ... the Chorus's early exhortation gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play proved unnecessary on the opening night; the repeated calls for the cast to return to the stage for a further encore was testament to the audience's full involvement and enjoyment and provided a fine start to the Tower's latest incarnation.

(Audience member J.C.)

Brilliant show and a lovely theatre.!
(Audience member L.M.)

Wolf Hall Wolf Hall

Excellent performance of Wolf Hall, powerful and humourous.
(Association of West Country Tourist Guides )

Really enjoyed the show on Wednesday. Huge congrats to everyone involved - it's a triumph.
(Audience member J.O.)

Running just shy of three hours, with a cast of two dozen, some playing more than one part, it's a huge undertaking for any group ... It looks sumptuous on the Bridewell stage - beautifully costumed, and played out on an uncluttered set that suggests the labyrinthine world of Austin Friars, York Place, Greenwich and the rest ... An impressive cast inhabits Mantel's imagined world. As Henry, Martin Mulgrew gives us a brooding, brash monarch ... Helen McCormack makes a feisty Katherine ... John Chapman is excellent as the coarse, choleric Norfolk, uncle to Sophie King's ruthlessly ambitious Anne. A superbly sustained Cardinal from Adam Sutcliffe ... a compelling performance by Julian Farrance (as Thomas More) ... Deft doubling from Samuel Currie-Smith as Rafe, Cromwell's young secretary, and Harry Percy, Bryony Purdue as Lady Jane Rochford and Princess Mary, and Will Howells as Bishop Gardiner and Ambassador Chapuys. Crum himself is given a powerful, if slow-burning performance by Dickon Farmar ... his late wife, strongly played by Jessica Hammett. Dan Usztan's production has many fine moments : the music, especially the numbers sung live [Purdue again], the moment when Liz lifts the cloth to reveal her own coffin, and the ending, as the King and Cromwell, anticipate the new age, the ascent of Jane Seymour of Wolf Hall [Sarah McCarthy]. This of course will lead us into the second play, Bring Up The Bodies, which we hope the Tower will tackle in the future.
(Michael Gray for Remote Goat. Awarded 5 stars.)

I hardly know where to start my appreciation of Wolf Hall, the Tower Theatre production at the Bridewell. It was one of the best productions I've seen in my 30 years in the Company. Marvellous casting, seamless choreographed scene changes, Lovely lighting, good music and absolutely sumptuous costumes! The Minack is in for a treat.
(Tower Theatre Company Member K.F.)

Well done Tower Theatre for Wolf Hall. A very strong production by Dan Usztan and great performances by the whole cast. Make sure you see it.
(Audience member A.M.)

Blue/Orange Blue/Orange

... this is not the dull and worthy kitchen sink drama that you might imagine, but a gripping play. Tower's production, directed by Colette Dockery, does it full justice.
(Matthew Partridge for Remote Goat. Awarded 4 stars.)

Three tip top performances! Congratulations!
(Audience member B.B.)

Kafka's Dick Kafka's Dick

McKendrick has recruited an experienced cast for his production and they perform well as an ensemble whilst each having their individual moments to shine. Jacob Trenerry presents us with a Kafka of some gravitas and complexity but in his interactions with the excellent Joanna Coulton's Linda we question whether Kafka is, at heart, just an old pervert who's driven by his lacking in the trouser department. John Chapman gives Kafka senior a hurricane blast of bluster and his plotting with the seemingly benign Sydney - a wonderfully lugubrious Matthew Ibbotson - gives the piece traction to explore some of the more vapid and unpleasant aspects of the modern human psyche. Colin Guthrie's Brod is simultaneously the most selfless and parasitic of the whole motley crew. . Peter Novis' "Father" is the most "Kafkaesque" character in the play. The elderly parent becomes lost in an unfathomable maze of questions and answers .. the play comments amusingly on impenetrable bureaucracy and, more poignantly, the fog of advancing Alzheimer's. Nicely done.
(This production) might just be the break out show of the summer: you know what they say about small acorns ...

(Cameron Dunham for Remote Goat. Awarded 5 stars.)

Philip Ley's set design is lovely, a backdrop of slanting white book shelves filled with red and black volumes, sandwiched by the front and back of a white car. The effect is simultaneously striking yet minimal.
Bennett is a fantastic writer and this production delivers his work with commitment and wit.

(Amelia Brown for The Spy in the Stalls. Awarded 4 stars.)

... this light-hearted and eminently watchable production includes assured performances from Jacob Trenerry as Kafka and Matthew Ibbotson as Sydney.
(Sarah Birch for Camden Citizen.)

The Winter's Tale The Winter's Tale

The Tower Theatre Company ... has a strong reputation for its interpretations of Shakespeare, and The Winter's Tale. at the Bridewell Theatre continues its strand of thoughtfully directed and well-performed classic works ... the costumes are gorgeous, and the minimal sets perfectly apt. The accomplished cast transcend the potential pitfalls of a long Shakespearean drama and keep us rivetted with real emotional depth, as well as delicious comic business. Emmeline Winterbotham directs with pace, creativity and many lovely distinctive details that make this Winter's Tale both absorbing and entertaining.
(Alison Goldie for Remote Goat. Awarded 5 stars.)

Excellent show with innovative staging and a great 1950s look ... and a very original solution to Antigonus being pursued by a bear ...!
(Audience member A. G-W.)

Clear, imaginative, and finally moving. Not my favourite Shakespeare, but I was gripped. Hermione, my pick, but congratulations to the director, backstage teams and the whole, well cast company, and all the very best for the Paris transfer!
(Audience member S.T.)

An engaging production of definitely Shakespeare's most difficult play. I should know as I directed it last year. So congratulations one and all!
(Audience member P.H.)

Arcadia Arcadia

A most impressive production. I enjoyed it immensely!
(Audience member A.F.)

Brilliant version of Arcadia this evening by the Tower Theatre Company. So much fun and so glad I've finally seen it!!
(Audience member Dr. E.P-M.)

Absolutely loved the performance last night. Brilliant direction, great chemistry and authentic characters. Humorous and compelling to watch.
(Audience member S.S.)

1984e 1984

The Tower Theatre Company under Director Angharad Ormond has put together a really good version of 1984 which takes the audience into the world of Airstrip One from the moment they arrive to be greeted by boiler suit wearing comrades, tannoy announcements and the ubiquitous "Big Brother is Watching You" poster which seems to be everywhere. This carries on inside and right up until you take your seat. The overall production works really well and Act II in particular is horribly absorbing to the point where during the Room 101 scene I wanted to look away but couldn't move my eyes from the events going on in front of me. The technical side of the production is exceptional with Michael Bettell and Max Batty's set, Sam Jones costumes, Colin Guthrie's sound, Rob Irvine's lighting and the video design of Max Batty all creating a realistic Airstrip One for the sixteen-strong cast to inhabit.
Among the actors, all three principals were nicely done. Paul Graves' Winston is a real everyman in appearance ... he really pulled off every aspect of Smith's character and experiences successfully. Paul is at his best in the scenes with Martin South as O'Brien. Martin is perfect as O'Brien. Tall, imposing, urbane, and utterly terrifying in his logic.
All in all, this production of 1984 really delivers.

(Terry Eastham for London Theatre 1. Awarded 4 stars.)

For a fully professional company, the attention to immersive detail would be mightily praised but this was a 'Tower Theatre' amateur production, albeit, along with Questors, one of the two leading London-based outfits. And on the immersive experience alone, I have to give this four stars.
I often forgot for long moments that I was in a theatre being temporarily drawn in to the drama. Paul Graves as Winston and Chloe Ledger as Julia served the relationship well with playful enthusiasm. He was particularly convincing in the torture and Room 101 scenes. And that takes some doing to maintain that level of emotional energy. Ms Ledger, too, was quite believable as the defiant creature who longed for the prohibited human contact and embraced it and Winston with an urgent vigour ... an impressive ensemble production, astounding attention to detail, from the continuous rolling digital display and announcements to the boiler-suited multitude and heavily uniformed and helmeted 'Thought Police' this was a very enjoyable - is that the right word?! - satisfying, then, production.

(Peter Tehuti for Remote Goat. Awarded 4 stars.)

Paul Graves stars in highly original adaptation of Orwell classic that bursts with energy ... utilising puppetry, music, singing, and choreographed movement so, at times, it resembles a futuristic Les Miserables.
(Michael Stewart for the Camden New Journal)

The audience seemed to be fully involved with the event - willing to engage in conversation with in-character cast members, taking in the atmosphere and joining in with the interactive elements perhaps more than expected but it makes for a unique experience for both. It was double double plus good.
The production really does deliver and powerful and sustained hit to the senses so you feel a real sense of relief when you leave - the bar is no longer full of fear and mistrust but smiles and human warmth of the real world.

(David Chandler on the Afterword blog)

Paul Graves stars in highly original adaptation of Orwell classic that bursts with energy ... utilising puppetry, music, singing, and choreographed movement so, at times, it resembles a futuristic Les Miserables.
(Michael Stewart for the Camden New Journal)

Congratulations to everyone involved ... a very ambitious, imaginative and technically accomplished production of great complexity. There were some fine performances, matched by wonderful and evocative movement work from the ensemble and a very effective set. Highly recommended.
(Audience member J.W.)

Fantastic production - can't say enough good things about the cast, the staging. Came away wanting to read it all over again - Thank you!
(Audience member C.F.)

A brilliant, timely production.
(Audience member S.S.)

I would conclude that this was an excellent production, well executed, delivered with conviction from a well rehearsed cast.
(Richard Blair, George Orwell's son.)

Di and Viv and Rose Di and Viv and Rose

Brilliant play very well performed by Tower. Thought all 3 girls were good, but was particularly captivated by Rose who was so believable as this engaging, sometimes infuriating but delightful and lovable character. I rushed back from Scotland to see this and am glad I made the effort.
(Audience member A.D.)

Went to see this wonderful play last night. It was laugh out loud funny and heart achingly poignant. The acting was superb, the characters wonderful and I honestly don't believe that if you have a spare £10 there is anything that it would be better spent on. My applause and appreciation to everyone involved.
(Audience member B.M.)

Excellent show - it went pacily and was engrossing from start to finish.
(Audience member J.N.)

Harvey Harvey

Wonderful performances from everyone! And a packed house who were all having such fun!
(Audience member A.F.)