Friday, November 16, 2007

Reviews, reviews

The show's now at the new Bernie Grant Centre in Tottenham: an amazing building, by (appropriately enough) a Ghanaian architect. It's very well run: the staff, who are the most enthusiastic I've met in a long time, were brought into the auditorium yesterday afternoon while we were plotting the lights, to meet us and explain their roles in the place. Very friendly. Many's the venue we've played in the past where the management hasn't even been to see the performance.

We're here for three nights, then back at the Africa Centre for the last week. The spaces are very different from one another, as are the audiences. The Bernie Grant is quite big - more than 200 seats - and has a very large stage and a high grid. The Africa Centre is small, with the audience on three sides and our improvised lighting rig. Somewhat ironically, the Africa Centre is the one where we are getting the more mainstream audience, while the Bernie Grant has done its audience development work very well, and is bringing in an African crowd. It's always great to watch the play with Twi speakers in the audience, picking up on subtleties and making them resonate even for people who've never set foot in Africa.

We've had three reviews so far. They're all on the website. The Time Out one is the most important for us in terms of audience building, so it's slightly disappointing that they only gave us three stars, while the others gave us four, especially since the other three-star reviews in this week's edition had far more negative things to say about their subjects than this one did. The quibble is with aspects of the writing - it seems a bit of a shame when there's so much positive stuff to be said. But I guess critics make their name by being negative - and they all come from the literary background that encourages them to look at text before performance. Still, with such good online reviews, and the promise of Metro on Monday, I guess we've not got much to complain about. Watch out for Monday....

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