Little Bulb Theatre
New Greenham Arts, Newbury, and touring
Little Bulb Theatre's Operation Greenfield is a joyous celebration of faith and friendship and is a whimsical little treasure.
Set somewhere in middle England, four disparate teenagers from a Christian youth club are preparing for Judgement Day and Stokely's annual talent competition. They drink forest fruits squash and discuss the meaning of life and typical teenage issues.
The stage set consists of three stepladders, a plethora of musical instruments and props, cardboard masks, giant angel wings and a large cut-out Elvis Presley resplendent in his gold lame suit.
This talented group of actors/musicians are former students from the University of Kent and they bring a refreshing spirited approach to the story of teenage angst and adolescent sexuality.
There is a strong element of bible stories at the start: "In the beginning there was chaos and then there was Christmas," says one of the actors. We witness the annunciation complete with bubbles and there is some fine musicianship and singing.
Dominic Conway is Daniel, the geeky sullen leader of the band who plays a mean guitar. His best friend is Molly (Clare Beresford) who really brings vitality to her dynamic drumming. Shamira Turner is the twitchy maths-obsessed Molly who plays a variety of instruments. She brings along Violet, the new French girl in the village (Eugenie Pastor who brings much fun to her flute playing).
The original music embraces folk, funk and wonderful harmonies, some sung in French, as well as a range of covers, all skilfully performed.
Little Bulb Theatre had considerable success with Operation Greenfield at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe where they were nominated for numerous awards and won a prestigious Herald Angel Award.
Directed with flair by Alexander Scott, this quirky original production sparkled and fizzed in what was an exuberant and witty show. This was the perfect tonic for a cold autumn evening and the young enthusiastic audience gave the company a very warm reception.
Touring to Axix Arts Centre Crewe Oct 25th, Lincoln University Oct 26th, Contact Manchester Oct 27th, Carriage Works Leeds Oct 28th, The Dukes Lancaster Nov 1st, South Street Reading 2-3rd Nov, Pamphilon Theatre Uckfield 4th Nov, Truro College Cornwall Nov 9th, Brewhouse Theatre Taunton 10th Nov, Warwick Arts centre 11-12th Nov, West end centre Aldershot 16th Nov, Wales Millenium Centre Cardiff 17th Nov, The Albany London 18th Nov, MAC Birmingham 22nd Nov, Jacksons Lane London 23-24th Nov, Arts Depot London 25th Nov and Parabola Arts Centre Cheltenham 6-7/9/15-16th December.
Reviewer: Robin Strapp