London Live Interview
01/07/2017




The Spy In The Stalls Interview
22/07/2017

click on the preview below for full interview!



Everything Theatre ★★★★

“It is astounding that this is the first offering from Monkhead Theatre – it’s professionally done, well-rounded, smart, and so very funny – and absolutely needs a further run with immediate effect.”

“The characters themselves are wonderful, and the three men playing them are faultless in their performances. The narrative is strong, the play is fast-moving, and by the conclusion, each character has evolved – and, deliciously, none for the better. This is a marvellous production on corruption throughout all levels of society, and the circular nature of corruption is handled very well.”

“Monkhead Theatre have absolutely come out swinging with their first production, the wonderfully funny Dead Souls at the Theatre N16”

“This production adapts the style and tone of a tragic Russian novel perfectly, and embraces said style and tone in a way that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

“A very intelligent and funny piece of theatre – and a tremendous first offering from Monkhead Theatre.”



The Spy in the Stalls ★★★★

“A very interesting adaptation superbly acted”

“Monkhead Theatre […] aims to bring ‘the wild rock and roll playfulness of experimental multimedia theatre’ to the Russian classic. And they have done so successfully.”



London Pub Theatres ★★★★

“The adaptation is near brilliant”

“Dead Souls is one of the most ambitious fringe pieces I’ve had the joy of seeing, and for that, and for nailing a modern adaptation of a 160-year-old piece of Russian satire, I’d highly recommend it, and hope to see more of Monkhead in the future.”

“With both live feed and pre-recorded work, the production is certainly bold. […] full respect to Monkhead for their ambition. It makes the work interesting as much as anything else, and allows the sharp and sobering comparison to modern investment bankers to really shine horribly through.”

“The space is well used, with just two stools and ‘The Machine’ designed by director Nico Pimparé which sits in the centre of the room, its use is to distort the sound from the hanging ceiling microphone. It is used predominantly as a break of the fourth wall, allowing Gogol’s rich text to shine.”

“Full credit must go to writer Chloe Myerson for a very witty, contained and relevant adaptation. The three actors, Armana, Jacob and Osmond are all brilliant, with special mention to Osmond, whose comic timing is simply a joy to watch and brings the full Russian humour to the forefront.”

“Perhaps Monkhead Theatre’s finest achievement is keeping these characters fresh, living and hilarious with just a cast of three fine actors, two chairs and a microphone.”



Fairy Powered

“Dead Souls is a fantastic play, full of inspired touches and with fine performances. Monkhead Theatre is definitely a name to look out for in the future.”

“Monkhead Theatre’s production of Dead Souls is an impressive debut, taking the classic novel and giving it a theatrical kick up the backside to create a sharp and witty examination of class and corruption.”

“The whole building is used, as characters leave the theatre and are filmed in the pub, and toilets, downstairs, interacting with the drinkers and drawing some bemused looks.”

“The machine looms large over the production – centre stage a mike hangs over a cymbal, creating eerie and unsettling reverberations depending on the cast’s positions. Used as a depository for Chichikov’s own soul-searching, it becomes almost unbearable during his confrontation with the prosecutor, ramping up the tension to great effect.”



ActDrop ★★★★

“The hallmark of Nico Pimparé's highly considered and spirited production lies in the willingness to take risks.”

“Video is a significant feature of this up-dated version of Gogol's remarkable work, but to give details about just how the visual medium is used would reveal a neat surprise. Suffice to say that it exploits the structure of the large pub building where Theatre N16 resides and its immediate environs. It is a brave, inventive and humorous way to use the medium.”

“Well-worth seeing.”



British Theatre Guide

“Myerson hits closer to home, as her drama spills into twenty-first-century London.”

“Chichikov is an ‘acquirer’—a very ‘modern’ entrepreneur whose gods are consumption and commodification but whose capital is ‘dead’. He is comic and rancorous; greedy and pragmatic. And, as Myerson and director Nico Pimparé’s experimental presentation make clear, he is no less familiar today.”

“The use of live video feedback makes both the audience and the patrons of the pub beneath the theatre complicit in Chichikov’s schemes and Russia’s inequities. Or, perhaps Myerson is suggesting that we ourselves are the ‘dead souls’, essentially worthless but ripe for exploitation.”

“Myerson’s script points at manifest contemporary congruences: social inequality, state inefficiency and self-serving subterfuge are hardly the prerogatives of history.”

“…Pimparé’s ‘Machine’—a ‘cardioid condenser microphone’ linked via a sound-mixer to a PA whose output causes a crash cymbal to vibrate. Its hum—or twanging screech— evokes the eerie echoes of the dead…”

“The central issue of ‘class’ was deftly communicated, though, not just by accent but also by dress: Chichikov’s ragged shirt, concealed by a cheap, shiny jacket, contrasted with the landowners’ luxurious attire—Plyushkin’s silk dressing-gown and Nozdryov’s peacock shirt and shiny black shoes.”

“Joshua Jacob was disturbingly intense as the conman with self-conviction, evincing a desperate intent bordering at times on madness.”