'All Cloned Up'

a musical comedy by Mike Bennett
Directed by Alkis Kritikos

The Kings' Head Theatre, Islington -January/February 2001
Edinburgh Festival at the Pleasance - 4 weeks in August
Performance following the Greek National Theatre Awards in Athens in October
Bloomsbury Theatre, London for 4 performances

(the show was launched at Wimbledon Studio Theatre
and a follow-up 5 week run at the Grace Theatre, Battersea)


Clone series (6 half life-size figures by Ruth Sutcliffe) mounted on the onstage roof
over the stairwell at the show's first showing in Wimbledon's Studio Theatre


No set except the three boxes but in a white space with lights, sound
and occasional smoke for the Athens performance in the newly opened Club 22.

This is the most recent project with long-term collaborator, director Alkis Kritikos. A lightweight musical comedy gently addressing the perils of human cloning which, (perhaps surprisingly for us), met with very positive initial audience reaction and its destiny for several more outings in theatres across the UK during the year was surprising, albeit welcome and gratifying.

Design-wise the show has retained the initial design which was propelled by expediency and nil budget. Any money has rightly enough been prioritised on sound reinforcement to achieve the best possible quality of music. The national tour in the autumn of 2001 has the services of the country's leading theatre sound company, Autograph, to ensure very high quality of musical projection.

Three boxes of differing heights (which I quickly built the day before the Wimbledon showcase) serve as the set and the costuming is restricted to a monochrome palette of all-black for the first half: current corruption and double dealing, followed by all white for the second half: post cloning and the advent of newly created perfection! I've also pushed for an all white stage space in all venues since the initial performance in Wimbledon where it was unavoidably the ubiquitous (and depressing) black of the small studio theatre world in the UK.

After many more performances than anticipated and travels to Edinburgh and Athens the boxes survive intact.

The photographs below of the show as shown in Athens and especially at the Bloomsbury Theatre, for me express eloquently enough the power of human presence in an empty space and question whether, if there was a budget, would there be much gained from adding much more beyond refinement of the costumes?

 



Above: at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London
Mary Savva as Fiona
Below: at Club 22, Athens



 

 

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