Friday, 3 February 2017

Substance & Shadow Theatre Company "Brexit Club" Cygnet New Theatre Friday 3 February 2017

"Brexit Club"
Midge Mullin is Melvyn Gould
Nathan Simpson is Leonard Silver

Working on the chain gang
(photo: Gavin Hodge)
Substance and Shadow's comedy duo Gould & Silver are back on stage in Exeter, and more inventive and brilliant than ever. In stark contrast with the eighties nostalgia of their last appearance, they are now firmly up to date. The action takes place in Melvyn Gould's place of work, the bottling factory of Pollard's Pickles. Len Silver, down on his luck as always, is now working a regular shift alongside Melvyn on the production line.


Generous to a fault
Melvyn is always eager
to contribute
to the staff bring-&-share
Midge Mullin is in his element playing Melvyn in his home environment. Gentle and kind, friendly to everyone, his work is a pleasure as he gets to meet all his pals on the shopfloor and in the works canteen. Len, by contrast, rubs everyone up the wrong way with his brash flippancy and cowardly selfishness. Melvyn, having helped Len into his new job, tries to keep him in line - but Len has already got himself into plenty of trouble with the management.

In a characteristic flight of genius, Midge Mullin and Nathan Simpson add to their austerity repertoire of mime, one-sided dialogue with invisible characters, and non-existent props, by playing other characters starkly different from Melvyn and Len. The changes are slick and seamless, and the previous character impossible to detect as they carry out this impressive volte-face repeatedly throughout the performance.



Not so obliging:
Don Beattie is more
likely to serve up
a knuckle sandwich
Midge is also the unnervingly forceful and determined union representative and political crusader Don Beattie. Len responds to Don with equal measures of terror and craven supplication, havering endlessly in his attempt to stay on the right side of this force majeure long enough to benefit from his influence with the factory managers.


A man of
strong principles:
Sid Vishnu
Nathan, meanwhile, is equally impressive as the fine upstanding second-generation British citizen Sid Vishnu. Even Melvyn defers to his quiet dignity. Sid's lofty ideals bring a new dimension to the unfolding political debate between the workers at Pollard's.

As before, Melvyn is ineffectually in love - this time with the Polish canteen worker Magda Krzywinska, voiced by Rosie Mullin. Magda is not British and, although the EU Referendum does not affect her directly, the dark mood it engenders does.


Don Beattie:
praises independence
in song
As the tale proceeds, a simple question regarding the pros and cons of EU membership becomes increasingly partisan, with the participants forced to take sides publicly.

It is no secret how this story will end, and Don Beattie is delighted with the outcome. Midge Mullin's delightful singing voice is a welcome surprise, although the sentiments expressed in Don's victory anthem might not be to everyone's taste. Nathan Simpson also sings a musical number as an extra fillip to an already spectacular production.


Still together despite everything
Len Silver & Melvyn Gould
This play delivered even more than expected, with Rosie and Midge Mullin's Substance & Shadow Theatre Company taking the Silver & Gould partnership to a new level of excellence, while retaining all the quirky eccentricities that are so familiar to Exeter audiences.

"Brexit Club" moves to the Clifford Room at Exeter Barnfield Theatre next week with evening performances on Monday and Thursday, 6 & 9 February. Further performances are planned for St Disen's Hall in Bradninch on Friday 17 February, The Oak Room in Tiverton on Saturday 18 February, and CIC in Taunton on Wednesday 15 March. Full details on the Substance & Shadow Theatre Company Website



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Substance Shadow Theatre

Clifford Room Barnfield Theatre
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
Monday 6 February 7.30pm
Thursday 9 February 7.30pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
Box Office: 01392 271808
(10am-4pm Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm Sat)
Online: Barnfield Website Mon/Thur


St Disen's Hall Brandninch

Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
St Disen's Hall Bradninch
Cullompton EX5 4NS
Friday 17 February 8pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £7
Simon Tytherleigh: 01392 881825
                                 07743 496740



Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
The Oak Room, St Peter Street
Tiverton EX16 6NU
Saturday 18 February 7pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
The Busy Bee: 01884 799105






Substance Shadow Theatre

Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Nathan Simpson
The Creative Innovative Centre (CIC)
Taunton TA1 3PF
Wednesday 15 March 7.30pm
BREXIT CLUB
Producers/Directors/Writers:
Rosie Midge Mullin
Leonard Silver: Natham Simpson
Melvyn Gould: Midge Mullin
Tickets: £8
Box Office: 01823 337477



Don't miss this original new tale of intolerance,
alienation and Findus crispy pancakes!!!