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 Post subject: Frantic Assembly
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 1:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A peek at untidy lives and loneliness
By Sarah Hemming for The Financial Times


There is always a buzz in a theatre when Frantic Assembly is performing - not only because of expectations, but also because the audience is so young that it cannot help but buzz. On the press night of the company's latest production, Peepshow, there was a spontaneous burst of whistling and applause as the lights went down - this is the sort of energetic audience that many theatres dream of.

Frantic Assembly built up its young following with its Generation Trilogy shows, which used high-impact dance routines and disarming confessional monologues to discuss contemporary issues. But the company's most recent productions have been more ambitious - and more mature. Hymns, shown three years ago, was an all-male piece about grief; Peepshow drafts in Scottish playwright Isabel Wright, and music from the band Lamb, to produce a piece about love and loneliness in the big city.

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Going cuckoo in the nest
by Donald Hutera for The Times


AFTER only eight years in the business, Frantic Assembly has cultivated both a devoted following and a cutting-edge reputation. The work I’ve seen hasn’t persuaded me that this British outfit is, to repeat an oft-used blurb, “crucial viewing for anyone interested in the future of theatre”. But there’s no denying that the company’s co-directors, Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett, have their fingers on the collective pulse of a generation.
Frantic’s new Peepshow captures a mood and rhythm of twentysomething discontent that a younger audience in particular will find relevant. You can practically feel the connection being forged in the auditorium of the Lyric Hammersmith.

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 Post subject: Re: Frantic Assembly
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 1:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Gazing into the void
Charles Spencer for The Times reviews Peepshow at the Lyric Hammersmith


Every so often you read gloomy articles suggesting that young people don't go to the theatre any more. It's simply not true.

Yes, the West End is generally dominated by the middle-aged and elderly, but Fame and Grease, God rot them, are packed with over-excited tweenies, and shows such as This is Our Youth and The Lieutenant of Inishmore have proved that young audiences have an appetite for straight plays too, if the writers, actors and producers press the right buttons.

At fringe venues such as the Bush and Riverside, I often feel like a very old man indeed.

Frantic Assembly, once described as "the bleeding edge of contemporary British Theatre", which sounds extremely painful, has tapped into the youth market particularly successfully. Their devised work is inspired more by pop videos than by Chekhov, combining text with music, dance and physical theatre.

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