PAST PRODUCTIONS

Good King Richard 

By Ian Dixon Potter

Directed by Courtney Larkin & Ian Dixon Potter

 

History is always written by the victor.  After Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, Tudor historians created the elaborate fiction of a deformed usurper who schemed and murdered his way onto the English throne.  But who was the real Richard III? 

 

Drawing on contemporary sources, unsullied by Tudor propaganda, ‘Good King Richard’ dramatises for the very first time, the true events which propelled Richard onto the throne of England and two years later, led to his downfall. 

 

This is a tale of murder, betrayal, rebellion, revenge and political intrigue, starting with the drowning of the Duke of Clarence in a butt of Malmsey and ending on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth.

 

A century after Richard’s death a celebrated play was written, based on the testimony of his greatest enemy, Cardinal John Morton.  Over four centuries later, 'Good King Richard' finally sets the record straight.

 

REVIEWS:

"Good King Richard is a thoroughly satisfying dramatic exposition of an historical injustice" 

 

"Nicholas Koy Santillo's portrayal of this gentle Richard will stay with me"

 

(Lizzie Loveridge for Curtain Up).

 

"A quality new drama"

 

"a marvellous feat of directing"

 

"Nicholas Koy Santillo is marvellous as the titular Richard"

 

"…freeing a historical character from the trappings of famous fiction and confronting the audience with an alternate version. And in this, they succeed marvellously"

 

"...confront and challenge the audience’s expectations of  ‘King Richard’ and lay bare the bias of history, which was done with taste, a skilful script and impressive acting"

 

"As far as Golden Age Theatre Company’s dedication to creating theatre which explores ‘big ideas’ this certainly hits the nail on the head"

 

(Helena Jackson for Theatre Bubble)

 

"A complex historical drama brought to life by a talented company of actors – the truth has never been so compelling"

 

"a sense of the epic… the human truth behind the monstrous fiction"

 

"Emily Ambler as Anne Neville shows poise and regality, and is eminently believable as Richard’s clever, caring wife"

 

"Ian Dixon-Potter’s script does justice to the likely truth behind the Tudor propaganda"

 

"a genuine & credible alternative to Olivier’s infamous hunchback."

 

(Debbie Gilpin for Mind The Blog).

 

“The gravitas of this play is definitely elevated with the words alone, but the whole cast brings their A-game. The stakes of everything feel real when they talk, and each actor succeeds in capturing the audience’s attention without leaving them bored or lost”

 

“Particular praise must be given to Catherine Dunne for her rendition of Queen Elizabeth. She gives a captivating performance as the calculating and plotting queen”

 

“Santillo creates a sympathetic, intelligent, and increasingly troubled protagonist becoming increasingly overwhelmed as those only hungry for power surround him”

 

“There’s an undeniable gravitas to this play and Potter’s writing that begs for quality acting, which it got”

 

“Good King Richard feels like a play meant- a bit ironically -for the Globe Theatre itself, or it least something equally as grand…I can’t wait for the day it’s performed in the larger than life space its words demand.”

 

(Holly Casey for A Younger Theatre)

 

“Santillo has superbly mastered the character; an overly concerned and cautious King, gullible and gracious in his attempts to run England”

 

“Catherine Dunne’s performance of Queen Elizabeth is bewitching, the catalyst of chaos, a cold and cunning temptress”

 

“Courtney Larkin has ensured each character is developed with detailed idiosyncrasies, physical posture and attention to motives”

 

“an educational and entertaining evening”

 

 (Rosie for Scatter of Opinion)

 

“…well paced, punchy and very engaging. Throw in a couple of moments of great hilarity, a few good fights and death scenes and a very high calibre of acting, and we had a very entertaining night of theatre”

 

“Queen Elizabeth was extremely snakelike and cunning and portrayed brilliantly by Catherine Dunne”

 

“…this was a very enjoyable surprise from Golden Age Theatre. Well done to Ian, the entire cast and crew and Golden Age Theatre”

 

“Courtney Larkin has produced a very effective piece and has brought out the best from talented actors"

 

(Ginger Wig & Strolling Man)

 

"An original, thought-provoking counterpoint to Shakespeare’s Richard III illuminated by a powerful, emotionally engaging leading performance"

 

"Richard III transforms from ‘monster’ to martyr before our eyes, in an entertaining historical drama"

 

"Nicholas Koy Santillo’s compellingly human portrayal of Richard ... consistently believable and engaging"

 

(Samantha Simmonds for Everything Theatre)

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BOY STROKE GIRL 

 Written and directed By Ian Dixon Potter 

Can you fall in love with someone if you don't know their gender?  Peter is about to find out when he falls for the sexually ambiguous ‘Blue’.

Their relationship poses a challenge to Peter’s identity, forcing him to face some difficult questions: To what extent are we all encouraged to conform to narrow culturally defined stereotypes, to label and to pigeon-hole ourselves?

Are these labels a form of straight jacket, by adapting to them do we compromise our true nature and can we defy the ultimate label of gender? Does this pressure to conform inevitably give rise to derision and hatred towards those who by choice or inclination, stand outside society's norms?​

Casting caution to the wind, Peter’s passion for Blue provokes prejudice and hostility from friends and family in a tale of sexual liberation and shattered taboos.

REVIEWS:

“Thought-provoking and very, very funny” “Strong performances from all the cast, with lots of charm and complexity.”

“A rich examination of the most fundamental ways in which people define themselves and others”

“Every moment when it looks like action or conversation might veer into the obvious or melodrama, it steers instead into a new perspective or comic insight, all the while feeling entirely natural and real.”

“Each character is fully rounded and every interaction contains subtle and brilliant observations”

“The scene in which Peter brings Blue for tea at the Yorkshire family home is hilarious."

“What a wonderful sermon – it will offer much to people who are familiar with the conversation of labels or to those who  have never entertained it.”

“I left confident I will be first in line for Golden Age Theatre and writer Ian Dixon Potter’s next venture.”

(★★★★★ Review from Theatregloss)

"Boy Stroke Girl is perfectly written so as to keep the audience guessing. This allows for the questioning of your own thought process at the same time the characters are questioning theirs."

"The actors portray the androgyny of Blue to perfection, as there is not one point in their acting that leads to any thought that Blue is either a boy or a girl."

"The set of Boy Stroke Girl was simple yet beautiful. Everything allowed every aspect of the play to flow with perfect fluidity."

(★★★★★ Review from LondonTheatre1)

"Boy Stroke Girl is quite possibly the most modern take on the topic of thwarted love"

 

"crucial ethical arguments" "a good dose of self-irony"  "The writing is intense, simple but effective" "bound to become a classic"

 

"Ilaria Ciardelli nails the difficult role of Blue. Her bright blue eyes really pierced the air and, watching their most tender scenes in the intimate auditorium of the Etcetera Theatre, made my heart pound"

"The mood of the play swings continuously between serious and playful and there is plenty of room for laughter, despite the presence of some crucial ethical arguments."

 

(★★★★ Review from Pocketsizetheatre)​

"The play makes the audience question their own assumptions and judgements as the characters question theirs.  Boy Stroke Girl asks a lot of questions and will leave you checking the labels we all apply to those around us. This is an interesting story well told and deserves a longer run."

"The cast of four actors do a good job of presenting Blue and Peter, their friends and family and their reactions to this unconventional relationship. Blue’s androgyny is dealt with well and we’re unsure, until the very end, whether Blue is male or female."

(★★★★ Review from West End Wilma)

“A truly stimulating piece of theatre, that will leave you double checking yourself every time you supply stereotypical, sticky labels to a friend or foe."

"A production which complicates and liberates ideas of conventional human behaviour."

"Ian Dixon Potter’s, Boy Stroke Girl follows the self driven campaign of one individual, Blue; who defies conventional behaviour and fights against labels."

"Powerful and unique, Peter and Blue’s relationship sees two people falling in love without constraints from gender. Attraction is formed from personality alone. The focus of this production and main message is don’t judge, take a person for who they are rather than what they are. Where they are going rather than where they’ve been."

(Rosie Snell for Scatter of Opinion)

“a beautiful play that will make you question your own opinions”  “a powerful well written story”

“Ilaria Ciardelli, who was strong in her role as Blue throughout - she was a delight to watch”  “Its a play that will get your mind ticking!”

“You felt as if you were going through the stages of the relationship with Peter played by Gianbruno Spena, feeling his frustration”  “Duncan Mason & Thomasin Lockwood were very convincing”

“I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s performance and congratulate the cast, and creative team on a strong, moving, and intellectual story.”

(Rosereview)

“a beautifully written piece of theatre”  “makes the audience question their opinions”  “The best part of all, I feel as I went on a journey with the cast”

 

“an endearing yet humorous piece that uses comedy to provoke thought within the audience” “I was truly moved by this show and urge you all to see it”

(Theatrical Insight)

“A play which really gets me thinking, and has kept me thinking ever since”

“The cast and creative team play it just right. Blue is played intriguingly well by Ciardelli, and the other three members of the cast provide great support - Thomasin Lockwood is strong in all three of her roles.”

 

“Boy Stroke Girl sounds quite deep, and on the theme of gender and self-knowledge and sexual freedom it is. However it has a nice lightness too, which brings the intellectual conversations back down to earth."

(Hatty Uwanogh for Ginger Wig & Strolling Man)

“Witty dialogue and brilliant acting made this play one of the best I've seen this year.”

 

“A joyful message in these times.”

 

“Ilaria Ciardelli, Gianbruno Spena, Thomasin Lockwood and Duncan Mason were all wonderful and the writing by Ian Dixon Potter was sharp, witty and very contemporary.”

 

(Jessica Meins for acuriousjoyfullife)

The Dead Shepherd

By Robert Pope & Ian Dixon Potter

Directed by Linda Miller

 

The events which led to the murder of Christopher Marlowe are recounted through the eyes of his friend and artistic collaborator, William Shakespeare.

We journey with the two young playwrights, from the dark, seditious gatherings of Sir Walter Raleigh’s 'School of Night' to Sir Robert Cecil’s carefully laid plot to bring about Marlowe’s demise; from fellow playwright Thomas Kyd’s brutal torture by the sadistic Topcliffe in the Bridewell to the great reckoning between Marlowe and Cecil’s chief agent of espionage, Robert Poley on that fateful day in the 'rooming house' upon the Deptford Strand.  

It is through Old William’s reminiscences to his patron’s daughter, Penelope that we learn how Marlowe's murder left an indelible scar upon Shakespeare’s mind and served to influence the character of his work over the next two decades - in particular, his determination to be a continuous thorn in the side of the hated Robert Cecil. 

REVIEWS

 

'It is a completely satisfying piece of theatre.'

 

‘This piece of new writing targets with bulls eye precision every desire that a theatregoer could possibly have. In a deft delivery of compelling escapism this performance will take you under and throw you up for air, refreshed and remembering why you love the fringe’

 

The adeptness of the script by Robert Pope and Ian Dixon-Potter is evident. It is expertly structured, and the language used is convincing rather than archaic.'

 

'This production truly is artfully created and directed. Suitable for absolutely every demographic including children, the show is the perfect length; without a hint of self indulgence this performance leaves the audience wanting more rather than less.'

 

‘Murder mystery of the highest order which uses beguiling historical fact and creative license to snare its audience. This is original and fresh theatre that covers a period we are all romantically attached to, but with relevance and purpose; it is sexy and comedic, tense and full of intrigue, brimming with entertaining characters and of course bubbling over with romantic love.’

 

‘Beautifully cast, each and every actor deserves utter commendation for their performance and their commitment to the production shines through; passion and dedication leak out of every word.’

 

‘Theatre that is lovingly and thoughtfully brought to life.’

 

‘It resists the overuse of early modern text using subtly enticing references just enough to remind us why we all love it rather than out of laziness or dependence.’ 

 

‘I urge you to go along for a playful and entertaining evening that is guaranteed to dig out your copy of Tamburlaine.’

 

(Annemarie Hiscott for London Theatre 1)

 

 

‘With a fine cast playing a few key historical figures, this is a bold and horribly plausible account of what might have happened.’

 

(Jon Wainwright for  The reviews Hub)

 

‘Passionate, fervent, a talented and young cast.’

 

‘If we needed a play to convince the government of the importance of the arts in our now secular society and wider world, this would surely be a contender. Flamboyant Kitt Marlowe was a passionate defender of freedom of speech and after watching this play, an audience cannot leave without feeling indebted to such playwrights like him and William Shakespeare, ardent challengers of the status quo in what was then a very dangerous world. I know I now feel a certain debt which I did not before.’

 

(Verity Healey for Theatre Bubble)

The School of Light

By Ian Dixon Potter & Robert Pope

Directed by Linda Miller

 

Do you believe in the healing power of crystals?  Or in the imminent threat of hostile extra-terrestrial life-forms, who daily gather their plans against us?  Or perhaps that your fate can be divined by studying the movements of the planets?  Or that we can make contact with the spirits of the departed?  Or perhaps in the reality of poltergeists and ghosts?  Or in the dark realms of necromancy and the occult? 

Harry, an amateur astronomer, shares none of these beliefs but due to a misunderstanding over the terms ‘Astrology’ and ‘Astronomy’, he finds himself spending an evening in the company of a group of people who entertain what are, for him, irrational and bizarre ideas.  They call themselves The School of Light...

REVIEWS:

 

'This entertaining and thought provoking exploration of the nature of belief'

 

'With an excellent cast and sharp dialogue The School of Light offers a hugely enjoyable and quizical look at how differnt forms of belief can create barriers and occasionally form surprising connections'

 

'A rational mindset is pitted against devotees of new age spirituality with often hilarious and, at times, poignant results.'

 

'Initially, Harry is presented as the voice of reason as he sets out to challenge the convictions of the group by logical arguments based on scientific fact. But our loyalty is swayed as each character gives an impassioned defence of their own beliefs, and it is Harry who loses our sympathy with his increasingly belligerent and dismissive response. This clash of ideologies grows increasingly darker in tone, eventually culminating in violence'

 

'Even the hippy dippy Sunflower, who at first appears fey and flirtatious, shows that she is capable of genuine insight and empathy.

The biggest surprise is the rationalist Harry, whose bemused attitude towards the group’s belief morphs into a bullish disdain. When the group continues to collectively probe his character, his composure slips to reveal an inner anguish and a tragic secret. As his connection with the eternally optimistic Sunflower begins to deepen, he is forced to tacitly acknowledge his own need for a form of soul searching that is acceptable to him'

 

(Muireann Bolger for The Metropolist)

 

'Comical pacy and thought provoking, The School of Light is the kind of considered offering I've come to expect from The White Bear Theatre'

 

‘The writers have cleverly set Harry up as the character most easy to empathise with but given him a sort of complexity and fear that makes it impossible to outright deny the notions held dear by the rest and indeed their respective reasons for wanting something to hold on to’

 

(Vanessa Bunn for Extra Extra)

 

 

 

 

The Resurrectionist

By Ian Dixon Potter & Robert Pope

Directed by Courtney Larkin

A brilliant scientist strives to protect his creation in the face of universal revulsion and hostility.

Set in Switzerland during the stormy summer of 1816, 'The Resurrectionist' reveals for the first time, the extraordinary ‘true’ events which inspired Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. 

Lord Byron refuses to accept the sudden death of his beloved servant Blaize and in desperation turns to the enigmatic Victor Darvell, a reclusive scientist who has long been awaiting just such an opportunity to bring his diabolical researches to their unnatural and terrifying conclusion. 

Mary Shelley finds herself drawn into the dark and tragic events which unfold in Darvell’s gloomy castle towering above the shores of Lake Geneva. 

 

 

REVIEWS

 

A four star review by EVERYTHING THEATRE:

 

“A great production that covered a range of topics and presented a fresh take on an old classic.”

 

“eerie, dramatic music which, alongside the beautifully designed set, brings the audience back into the early 1800’s. Hanna Wilkinson does a really great job - it really does look like a dark and brooding chamber where macabre scientific experiments would take place”

 

“Peter Dewhurst’s depiction of Victor Darvell was brilliant”

 

“snappy dialogue...showed outright how science and religion can be at odds with each other. Also, this sequence brought some comic relief, making the audience laugh countless times.”

 

“A very good show. I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. This is an intriguing take on a well-known novel, bringing both author and protagonist together on the same stage.”

Four star review by The Mortal Fool:

“I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a show so much in a while. It was original, thought-provoking, heartwarming, and yet also endearing and funny. Pope and Potter’s writing is intelligent and well grounded in key debates surrounding not only the Victorian era it was set in, but also the contemporary world we live in today.”

“Tom Everatt was fantastic in his role as Blaize”

“Peter Dewhurst, as Blazie’s re-animator Victor Darvell was striking in his performance, commanding the stage. His connection with Everatt was perfect”

“I have nothing negative to say about this production – it was intelligent and made me think”

“this is a fantastic piece of new writing by Golden Age Theatre Company”

Four star review by Eddie Saint-Jean for What's Hot London:

 

“The acting is first class”

 

“you’ll feel genuinely scared”

 

“A double-take every now and again reminds you it is just a theatre. A packed, hesitant one, hanging on every word as the moral, religious and scientific arguments are fought over.”

 

“Peter Dewhurst captures his pain, conflicts and passion in one of the stand out performances.”

 

“Mary Shelley (Samantha Kamras) - makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.”

 

“You’ll admire the way in which Lord Byron has been stripped of his legendary hubris. You expect him to be the Byron of poem Childe Harolde, striding, gesticulative and arrogant, but here he is human and sometimes hesitant.”

Four star review for lastminutetheatretickets.com by Chris Omaweng:

 

“Pastor Cornelius represents organised religion, then and now, with bull’s-eye accuracy.”

 

“interesting to see a different Lord Byron, away from public eyes”

 

“the arguments, whether moral or scientific or both, repeatedly piqued my own curiosity”

 

“paradoxically enjoyable”

 

“this play held my attention throughout”

Jack Courtney O'Connnor for Camden Review:

“Director Courtney Larkin has produced a terrific piece of theatre with standout performances, excellent special effects, and a superb performance from Everatt as the sympathetic yet inordinate soul. Highly recommended."

 

Tiresia

Written & Directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Tiresia, an enigmatic young artist, apparently recovering from a serious accident, faces a challenge to her identity and her sexuality. Tiresia's difficulties are compounded when she undergoes a unique transformation which calls into question conventional notions of memory, personality and even the process of evolution.

 

Does Tiresia's experience throw new light on the nature of time and the power of the unconscious mind?

 

How is her fate connected to the disappearance of a famous but reclusive artist?

REVIEWS:

“Tiresia is a clever piece which uses a complex plot to draw attention to long-standing ethical and philosophical issues which recur in modern society. In the bare set of the Etcetera Theatre, the playwright's lines take centre stage, convincingly delivered by a cast of actors who demonstrate dedication to the script and complete each other's characters with a harmonious and strong presence on stage.”

"Dixon Potter never offers a conclusion which proves to be universally valid. Instead, he presents the matter from a variety of angles and allows the audience to form their own opinion whilst they witness elaborate but clearly exposed dialogues."

★★★★ (Marianna Meloni for Pocketsizetheatre)

"Tiresia asks the audience to consider what makes us who we are. What makes our friendships last the test of time?

This tale will leave you wondering how you would react and what choices you would make.  

★★★★ (Rhiannon Evans for West End Wilma)

"Tiresia is an experimental tale, that keeps you hooked until the very end. But perhaps most importantly, you find yourself still thinking about it hours later."

"This production reveals layer after layer of meaning as the truth surrounding the identity of Tiresia – the woman – unfolds"

"Natasha Killam puts in an emotionally charged turn as Tiresia, balancing the masculine and the feminine within the character well. From mannerism to tone of voice, Killam captures the essence of the character of Tiresia, and brings a sense of veracity"

"The real stars of the show are Albert Clack and Louise Morell who demonstrate that experience often has the edge on youthful enthusiasm. Their slick and believable performances are what push Tiresia out of its comfort zone and into something more exciting"

"Tiresia is undeniably engaging"

(Charlotte Irwin for a Younger Theatre)

 

"The script was sassy and smart."

 

"The actors were all very talented and easy in their roles."

 

"An intelligent and fast-paced script with references that if I understood, made me feel clever and if not, taught me something."

 

"Particularly impressive was Natasha Killam played Tiresia, the beautiful and enigmatic protagonist with absolute truth and authenticity."

 

"The script from Ian Dixon-Potter was – as usual – fast-paced, witty and modern."

(Jessica Meins for A Curious Joyful Life)

"Ian Dixon Potter once again creates a strong, meaningful play, that leaves the audience pondering."

 

“One of the things I love about the Golden Age Theatre Company, is you never truly know what you are about to watch. But, you definitely go away remembering. Each play displaying such strong storylines that leave the audience guessing, reflecting, and pondering.  Tiresia is no different."

 

"Its a strong story, with great meaning. Incorporating Greek Mythology, Psychology and also a twist, that gets the mind ticking."

 

“I’m never disappointed when I walk away from a Golden Age Theatre production, as all of their productions have stayed with me, supporting how I look on life and others, thinking twice before I act."

 

"Tiresa shows that it is the person inside that truly counts, and although identity can be changed you need to remember they still have the same heart"

 

"Ian Dixon Potter does it again, leaving me looking forward to the next production.”

(Katie Rose for Rose Review)

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The Test

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

 

A reckless scientist and a computer hacker join forces to hijack the entire internet in an attempt to create the first truly conscious artificial intelligence.

They apply the 'Turing Test' to assess their creation but who is really being tested? Who will gain the upper hand? The future of humanity hangs in the balance…

 

Reviews:

"Thought-provoking, clever and extremely relevant, Dixon Potter’s play takes artificial intelligence to another level"

 

"An interesting introspection as to what human beings have become in the 21st century"

 

"Extremely relevant and mind-opening, which is why I believe more people should see it"

"Definitely makes one think. Is our freedom really ours? Are we really in charge of our destiny?"

"Contradictions are definitely Dixon Potter’s forte and the debates raised are meaningful and necessary"

(Lucrezia Pollice for Carnstheatrepassion)

"It’s just on the edges of possibility, and that’s what makes Dixon Potter’s concept so engaging"

"This is a show where scientific discovery clashes with philosophical ethics"

"There is something addictive about the purity of Mother"

 

"Dixon Potter rationalises away political and economic systems of existence, religion and even morality – all are man-made constructs designed ultimately to subjugate and control, the betterment of individuals rather than the evolutionary imperative of the species as a whole"

"Thought-provoking"  "The Test unpicks incredibly complicated topics – free will and consciousness – without ever feeling stuck in scientific reasoning"

"Dixon Potter writes a narrative that asks questions from its audience and could easily expand into a longer production"

 

(Daniel Perks for Culture By Night)

"An easily absorbed but enlightening discussion on the seemingly unlimited potential of artificial intelligence: Dora representing the Utopian vision and The Professor the conservative voice of reason"

 

"Tense exchanges between Dora and The Professor keep it relevant"  

 

"This fluid and powerful script" 

 

"You’re left wanting more"

(Eddie Saint - Jean for WhatshotLondon)

"Once again Ian Dixon Potter leaves me pondering after leaving the theatre" 

"A truly engaging production"

"The performers tonight told the story brilliantly"

"Zara Banks - warm, yet hypnotic tone to her voice that draws the audience in"

"Duncan Mason - a delight to watch"

"Natasha Killam - Determined, and confident in the role of scientist Dora"

"It definitely succeeds - and leaves the audience reflecting"

(Katie Rose for Rosereview)

Hiding Heidi

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

 

In 2020 a dark cloud hangs over a vastly impoverished nation, its influence and standing in the world diminished. England is isolated, the unions with Scotland and Northern Ireland have collapsed. Populism parochialism and xenophobia are on the rise. Fake news dominates the headlines. Society is riven with division and conflict creating an atmosphere of enmity and distrust. One half of the population despises and derides the other half. The authority of parliament and the old political parties have been fatally undermined by their inept and short-sighted handling of the nation's chaotic and destructive departure from the European Union. Extremist right wing parties and factions now set the economic and social agenda. Alone and adrift in the world, at the mercy of the great powers, its industry in tatters, England is facing a crisis never seen before in its long history. 

REVIEWS:  See below.

 

HIDING HEIDI was first performed at Etcetera Theatre in November 2017.  An updated version of the play, set four years later, broader in scope, with new characters and scenes and renamed LITTLE ENGLAND was performed at THE MUSEUM OF COMEDY in November 2018.

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Little England

A tale of love and hate in Stoke on Trent

Written & directed by Ian Dixon Potter

 

In 2024 Stoke on Trent is a dangerous place for a European. Heidi has made her life in England but after losing her job she faces immediate deportation.Will she be captured by the sinister Unregistered & Illegal Alien Enforcement Office with its unsympathetic officials and vast network of eager informers? Will she find somewhere to hide? Will she even find love amidst the hatred and intolerance of post Brexit Britain.

 

REVIEWS:

 

“The whole play was a true delight”    “A must see”  

“Despite the serious political aspects, incredibly funny. I very rarely laugh when I watch something funny, yet it had me laughing out loud”

“I was excited to see what the Company and Dixon Potter had produced this time”

“The relationship between the cast worked extremely well”   “Made me feel like I was watching people’s real lives”

“Some may call it sensationalism. To these people I would argue that there are people who said the same about how far the Nazi’s would go and look what happened” 

“These suggestions about our future may never happen but the fact that there is a chance that they may occur is reason enough to do something"

“Superb acting from Siobhan Ward, Richard de Lisle, Maxine Howard & Kate Carthy”  “All the actors suited their roles perfectly” 

“The main concept (of the set) was simple yet it was well thought through. Great thought had been put into the design”

★★★★★ (Kat Caunter)

“Thought provoking and funny, entertaining and chilling, ‘Quite an achievement”

 

“This is a brave piece of writing that is saved from being preachy by the level of skill in how each character is written and the performances of the actors on stage”

 

“You would be forgiven for thinking it was a staged version of the newest episode of Black Mirror”

 

“What starts out as a kitchen sink drama questioning the state of a post Brexit Britain turns into an extraordinary and surrealist piece of work that compares the immigration office with the Gestapo and Stoke on Trent with West Berlin”

 

“Writer and director Ian Dixon Potter sets up a brilliant three way dynamic”

 

“It could have easily subsided into a lecture but the complexity of the main characters saved it from such a fate.”

 

“The mundane and surreal are paired together brilliantly”

 

“A tour de force performance from Maxine Howard - a complex character who has to question what she believes in and then stand up for it.  It’s a beautiful journey to watch because Howard ignites such empathy from the audience through her performance”

 

“Richard de Lisle’s comic timing allows what could have been an annoying character to be charming”

 

“Kate Carthy exercises extraordinary skill multi rolling as the ill informed racist neighbour and Nazi immigration officer”

 

“This is an important play because this bleak future is ahead of us”

 

“In the same way the Greeks would stage tragedies to warn society that their actions have consequences Ian Dixon Potter is grabbing his audience and shaking them to say ‘wake up! This is real and look at what could happen if we don’t do something”

 

“It is provocative in an unusual way. Starting off with a picture of reality that is so easily recognised and slowly twisting the picture into one of complete despair allows the audience to be open in dealing with the questions that are being put forward to them”

 

“What makes you first think that the play is being too forward in it’s politics you realise is a necessity for the style of the piece to work.”

★★★★ (Open Door)

"A dystopian post-Brexit world - our setting for Dixon Potter’s latest fast-paced script"

 

"The disparity of opinion between Ralph and his mother (a Leaver and Remainer respectively) provides interesting points of discussion and humour in the script"

 

"I especially enjoyed the interspersing of the domestic tale of the trio and the love story which unfolds, with the haunting and fearsome presence of the Immigration Office"

 

"The actors all played their roles well – particularly Maxine Howard whose comic timing was spot-on"

 

"I would recommend this play as I would any piece of art that looked at varying outcomes of our near future with such humour and an interesting storyline"

 

"I laughed along at the physical and verbal comedy throughout the piece and as usual Dixon Potter’s script was as snappy and witty as it was introspective"

(Jessica Meins)

“Tongue in cheek British humour”  “It doesn’t take itself too seriously"  

 

“I wasn’t expecting it to be as funny as it was”  “Dorothy, (Julia Faulkner) excels at her comic timing”

 

“For me it really hit home”   

 

“Ralph- played excellently by Richard de Lisle”  

 

“Heidi played by Clare Aster, demonstrates the vulnerability of those who have only wished for the best”

“There is not one production that I have seen by Ian Dixon Potter that I haven’t been left pondering and reflecting on the subject”

“With classic British humour, you're left smiling and chucking in your seat throughout”

“Ian Dixon Potter always amazes me with the many stories he creates and directs. What I love is that all productions are different from one another, but all display a strong meaning – this one a little close to home!”

(Rosereview)

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Tales From The Golden Age

White Bear Theatre Sept - Oct 2020

 

A series of seven monologues about love, hate, death, revenge and other serious matters.

 

The Triumph of Evil

In a race against time, a Swedish aristocrat has to 'deal with the devil' when he enters into negotiation with SS leader Heinrich Himmler in a last minute attempt to liberate thousands of prisoners from the Nazi concentration camps.

 

Trivial Dispute

Two worlds collide when self made millionaire Trevor, committed Tory and card carrying Brexiteer, suddenly finds himself at odds with a retired academic, the cosmopolitan and liberal minded Ewan.

 

Iago

Iago, an experienced soldier passed over for promotion, plots to wreak dreadful revenge on his commanding officer Colonel Othello. A modern day, modern language adaptation of Shakespeare's play seen from Iago's perspective.

 

A Strange Romance

​Can you fall in love with someone if you don't know their gender? Casting caution to the wind, Peter’s passion for the sexually ambiguous 'Blue' provokes prejudice and hostility from friends and family in a tale of sexual liberation and shattered taboos.

 

The New Normal

The year is 2024. British society is riven with division and conflict creating an atmosphere of enmity and distrust. One half of the population despises and derides the other half. Against this background and against all the odds, Dorothy has finally found a new carer.

 

Marlowe's Ghost

William Shakespeare, is haunted by the ghost of a fellow playwright, assassinated nearly a quarter century before. “Two things motivate men above all else, the desire for immortality and the desire for revenge.”

 

Transhuman

Given the chance, would you choose to be immortal by uploading your consciousness to the cloud? Transhuman explores issues of mortality, identity and personality - challenging our notions of what it means to be human.

Written and directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville, Thomasin Lockwood, Thomas Everatt, Mark Shaer & Kate Carthy.

News Bulletins performed by Robin Lustig

Bulletins recorded by Janet A. Cantrill

'Pathe News broadcasts' recorded by Howard White

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

REVIEWS: See below.

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Tales From The Golden Age

Canal Café Theatre December 2020

 

A series of ten monologues about love, hate, death, revenge and other serious matters. The above seven monologues plus:

 

The Beast:

A monumental ego and a self seeking ruthlessness have propelled Grossman to the top of his profession. Grossman surrounds himself with flatterers and sycophants who fear and loathe him. Knowing his reputation for preying on young female employees, Caroline keeps her distance but an opportunity to advance her career propels her into Grossman's lascivious clutches.

Call Back:

After a botched attempt to repair a damaged smartphone, Ismail has accidentally discovered a means of sending a message backwards in time. How is his serendipitous discovery linked to a series of freak storms and a mysterious epidemic which are devastating a small English town?

Infantophobia​:

Carla, one of that rare breed of women, who harbours a powerful aversion for children, is hoping to save her old friend Roger from being drawn into the clutches of Sue, a woman who desperately wants to 'start a family' (as she puts it).

Written and directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville, Thomasin Lockwood, Thomas Everatt, Mark Shaer. Ramzi De Hani, Julia Faulkner, Melanie Thompson & Kate Carthy.

News Bulletins performed by Robin Lustig

Bulletins recorded by Janet A. Cantrill

'Pathe News broadcasts' recorded by Howard White

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

 

Testimony

Hen & Chickens Theatre June/July 2021:

A series of 18 monologues about about love, hate, death, revenge and other serious matters. The above ten monologues plus:

Love in the Time of Corona:

Jake only wants one thing from women. He uses dating apps to hook up with a different woman every night and he definitely doesn't do relationships. When the lock-down brings an abrupt halt to his hedonistic lifestyle he finds himself in the unusual situation of striking up a platonic friendship with Lauren. Over the course of their Zoom conversations,  Lauren begins to challenge Jake's priorities and values.

Confession:

Detective Sergeant Dunderdale is on the brink of solving a bloody murder but is there enough evidence to convict Yousef Massoud? Dunderdale is determined to secure a conviction by fair means or foul. After all, isn't it acceptable to bend the rules a little if the only alternative is for a dangerous killer to walk free?

Solitaire:

There's a notion that it's desperately sad when your halcyon days come to an end. When you go into decline and you gradually lose everyone you ever cared for and all the things which brought you happiness. But at least Arnold had all this at one point in his life. It doesn't matter when. It doesn't matter that it eventually comes to an end. Nothing lasts forever.

DNA:

Imogen isn't who she thought she was.  After being surprised by the results of a DNA ancestry test, she embarks on a life changing voyage of discovery. She doesn't know where this will lead but one thing's for sure, she has something to celebrate. It turns out she's not British!

Singularity:

A reckless scientist persuades a computer hacker to hijack the internet in an attempt to create the first truly conscious artificial intelligence.

She uses the 'Turing Test' to assess her creation but who is really being tested? Who will gain the upper hand? The future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Denial:

Neville believes he has good reason to take a relaxed approach to social distancing. After all, his extensive online investigations have revealed the hidden reality behind the so-called pandemic. But will Neville's selfless actions present a real danger to the elderly residents at the sinister Mountview Towers?

In a post-truth landscape of fake news, misinformation and conspiracy theory, 'Denial' explores the dramatic consequence of one lonely man's attempt to make sense of a complex and frightening world.

I, Richard:

History is always written by the victor.  After Henry Tudor defeated Richard III at the battle of Bosworth, Tudor historians created the elaborate fiction of a deformed usurper who schemed and murdered his way onto the English throne.  But who was the real Richard III? 

Drawing on contemporary sources, unsullied by Tudor propaganda,

‘I, Richard’ recounts the true events which propelled Richard onto the throne of England and two years later, led to his downfall. 

This is a tale of murder, betrayal, rebellion, revenge and political intrigue, starting with the drowning of the Duke of Clarence in a butt of Malmsey and ending on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth.

 

Inside Blue:

Blue identifies as neither male nor female, believing masculinity and femininity to be mere social constructs.  

The ultimate nonconformist, Blue refuses to be pigeon-holed and categorised, resisting even the labels of nationality, religion, ideology and sexual orientation. But what happens when Blue falls for the relatively conventional Peter?

Written and directed by Ian Dixon Potter

Performed by Neil Summerville, Beata Taczalska, Thomasin Lockwood, , Mark Shaer. D J Singh, David Vale, Nicolle Smartt, Razvan Suiogan, Melanie Thompson, Ivan Comisso, Julia Faulkner & Kate Carthy.

News Bulletins performed by Robin Lustig

Bulletins recorded by Janet A. Cantrill

'Pathe News broadcasts' recorded by Howard White

Original music composed and performed by Neil Thompson

Love in the Time of Corona & other monologues.

White Bear Theatre July 2021

 

Denial, Confession, Solitaire and Love in the Time of Corona Performed by Neil Summerville, David Vale and Ivan Comisso.

 

Voices

White Bear Theatre September 2021

 

Inside Blue, DNA, The Beast and I, Richard performed by Beata Taczalska, Melanie Thompson and Ivan Comisso.

REVIEWS: (of the fifteen monologues staged at The White Bear Theatre, the ten monologues staged at The Canal Café Theatre and the eighteen monologues staged at The Hen & Chickens Theatre):

“A remarkably purposeful piece of writing. ”This is a self-created bubble containing many fluid colours. To be allowed a glimpse inside is a rare and intriguing new experience worth seeking.”

“this play examines the engines of relationships from many contrasting angles” “an outside perspective allowing both contrast and commentary without distracting from the central character’s own dissection of his feelings.”

 

★★★★★ Theatre Monkey

“Melanie Thompson's easy articulacy is engaging” “Fertile ground for debate in a way similar to Mamet’s “Oleanna” – where the lines and boundaries of morality are a valid subject for heated argument” “To say more would spoil the interest in this piece. Writing and acting are strong, and it is a worthwhile 28 minutes”

★★★★★ (four and a half Stars) Theatre Monkey

“One might not agree with Caroline’s course of action, but this is a thoughtful and compelling production. ” “An interesting take on what it is to climb the career ladder whilst making compromises along the way to achieve one’s ambitions” “Caroline’s engaging nature certainly helps keep the viewer interested"

★★★★ London Theatre 1

 

“Trivial Dispute is a play that lingers with you. I spent a long time turning the characters of Trevor and Ewan over and over in my mind. Their differences should not lead to such a heated conflict, but in Dixon Potter’s world, their differences aren’t exactly trivial.”

“to tell a story through the eyes of a protagonist whom we find arrogant and repulsive is a true skill. A skill which relies heavily on the  director and the actor to find a rhythm which pushes you away before clawing you back in as the stakes stack higher and higher.”

“Summerville gives an excellent portrayal of the self-obsessed Trevor. Giving his character some bite at the right moments, Summerville manages to make Trevor not entirely pleasant, but frustratingly interesting. Dixon Potter challenges the viewer to sit back and listen to Trevor’s testimony without interrupting. The conflict is as much between Trevor and Ewan, as it is between Trevor and the audience.”

★★★★ A Younger Theatre

 

“A fiercely intelligent script” "Everatt is absolutely compelling in the role – a faultless performance.” ”  “If one is fortunate enough to fall in love with another human being, does it matter how the other define themselves in terms of gender? - Dixon Potter provides exactly the right answer to his own question.”

★★★★ London Theatre 1

 

“This winning love story between a Cis man and a trans person" “Dixon Potter’s most ambitious tale” “Despite the complex politics behind trans issues, his writing never becomes didactic. With moments of gentle humour the story is unexpected” "Tales from the Golden Age, a series of monologues, has been one of the treats of the summer".

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

 

“For those who find Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” a little twee, Dixon Potter has come up with an up-to-the-minute antidote” “Increasingly edgy as his tale unfolds, he holds out attention for the entire 40 minutes. The writing is equally consistent.” 

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

 

“Dixon Potter is a very capable writer and here demonstrates considerable skill in the way that he presents a great deal of material in a very accessible manner.” “production values are surprisingly high” “on the strength of this and other productions Golden Age Theatre Company is certainly one to watch”  ★★★★ London Theatre 1

 

"Neil Summerville gives a compellingly off-kilter performance” "The monologue neatly captures the voice of a generation of people who feel disenfranchised from the global pace” “Dixon Potter creates a snowball effect within the drama"

“As frustrating as Trevor is – certainly to the metropolitan liberal elite he despises – he is never a caricature and always a product of his age, status, geography and experiences, while Dixon Potter doesn’t make the unseen Ewan any less appealing"

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

 

“A startling reminder, that one should never take oneself too seriously, even in a global pandemic.” “I wouldn’t have guessed the plot’s ending from a mile off.” 

★★★★ London Theatre 1

 

“Mark Shaer’s performance is compelling” “Dixon Potter manages to mix the few known facts with reasonable conjecture" “A neat piece for those wishing to learn a little more about Shakespeare’s often overshadowed contemporaries.” 

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

 

“Carthy’s portrayal of the character is so highly convincing.” “Dark humour consistently permeates the show.” “The concluding remarks are a fine and intriguing twist” “This monologue is thought-provoking and absorbing.” 

★★★★  London Theatre1

 

“Transhuman crams in considerably more ideas than the initial scenario suggests. Lockwood’s character holds our attention for the entire 30 minutes. Dixon Potter manages to personalise with great intimacy the potential benefits and restrictions such possibilities may bring. He avoids science-fiction cliché, presenting rationally some likely unfeasible ideas in a manner making the story convincing.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

 

“Transhuman is particularly strong at evoking the desperation to keep living, whatever the cost.” “The commercialisation of death and its effects on the living are chillingly represented and as Transhuman plays out, the true transition comes from the seemingly harmless longing for immortality becoming a practical monstrousness in its stead.” “Transhuman develops a rather nasty bite. There are notes of regret, resentment, even bitterness about her physical absence that lead the story to some much darker places. “an intriguing twist”

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

 

“Kate Carthy’s performance as Dorothy is brilliantly disarming because it’s delivered in a dark and dour working class conversational style which lulls you into a false sense of familiarity“

​”fascinating in-talk about what really goes on behind closed doors in Middle England"

​★★★★ What's Hot London

 

There is, strangely, something nearly admirable about the dedication and zeal into which he puts its plotting and scheming. Summerville’s portrayal is so successful at painting a portrait of a man so totally devoid of civility towards fellow humans.

​★★★★ London Theatre1

 

There’s a lot of detail in Call Back, which goes at quite a brisk pace.  It may be a mindboggling story, but it’s also a very amusing one, with an excellent punchline at the very end. The direct engagement with the audience in both monologues ('Call Back' & 'Iago') helps to maintain interest, and overall, this was a brief but thought-provoking evening.

★★★★ London Theatre1

A timely and relevant production.   Comisso puts in an engaging performance.

In a timespan of a few months, Jake has become a different person.

★★★★ London Theatre 1

 

"Comisso is very much “up close and personal” with the viewer at all times. His natural exuberant gestures add to his personality as he performs. Once past the sleaziness of his mind, Jake’s evolution in the actor’s hands becomes compelling, and leaves the audience hoping things work out as the boy engages the mind of a more mature male"

"It's very much down to the performance that the work feels fresh, and the second half in which a new perspective is introduced assists greatly the balance of originality which would make an audience watch. Worth engaging with, as it has plenty to say about the joy of a deeper one-to-one relationship in economical capsule form"

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

“Confession feels authentic and credible. The big advantage is that the whole thing is wrapped up in a single short act. Pleasing as you will want to know how it ends even as you are appalled by the direction the investigation is going. Summerville holds the camera as well as he holds his drink, and you should resist jumping scenes as this all makes sense in the end. A short play that works equally well online or live.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

“This will probably prove incredibly divisive”

"Footprints in the sand, someone following with a brush sweeping them away" is how Arnold sums up his life. Yet he speaks and records for his generation and even those several decades younger who are if anything angry that their personal nostalgia is no longer deemed valid despite offering much. A little piece of British sociology, an immaculate delivery by an actor who finds the pain, pathos and truth in every line, and a story idea and script which says it with clarity and records a truth for posterity.”

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

When her girlfriend buys her a genealogy DNA testing kit, Imogen is surprised to find that she is 49% Scandinavian, rather than the entirely British she supposed. This delights the pro-EU Politics and History doctorate student so much that she embarks on further research to find out just where here genes come from, a quick journey played out over 27 minutes in multiple short scenes by Ian Dixon Potter. Very much a study of a single person perhaps typical of her generation and political leaning,

The play certainly gives one viewpoint consistently. An engaging short film insight into modern family relations and the wider experiences of the younger generation in the current world.

★★★★ Theatre Monkey

“YouTube bans videos by conspiracy theorists. This explains why writer and director Ian Dixon Potter had to send out downloads of this to reviewers rather than use his regular channel on that platform. Neil Summerville is on finest character form as Neville, fully-paid-up member of the 'Tin Hat' brigade.”

“Dixon Potter’s topical script is a very entertaining half hour topical sketch which will resonate with much of its audience and provide a useful sociological record of the time. With a deeply studied fun performance at its heart, and a few clever visuals, this is one worth watching online and should transfer well to the live stage once the subject is history.”

★★★★★ (four and a half Stars) Theatre Monkey

“A terrific piece of short theatre”

 “Authenticity is a regular triumph for Golden Age Theatre, captured once more in the minimalist nature of detail. Its framing as an almost pirate video accentuates the feeling of a grotty secret, something we shouldn’t be seeing but can’t help watching. More worrying and exceptionally clever is the relatability to Neville in choice moments”

★★★★ The Reviews Hub

“When Neville develops a cough you think you know where this tale is headed but, in a neat twist, it is actually something far worse. Ian Dixon Potter’s script has gathered together the various half baked notions and twisted truths of the anti-lockdown/mask/vax brigade and put them into the mouth of Neil Summerville’s camply malevolent monster who chillingly thinks that HE is the voice of reason. It’s an insidiously powerful performance from the actor which finds all the laughs but is ultimately horrifying.  The direction of this half hour play was very well executed (also Ian Dixon Potter) and I loved the attention to detail. Neville’s little library contains popular fiction by Dan Brown, John Grisham and Michael Crichton, his spectacles are held together with sticky tape, and we are left in no doubt as to what we are supposed to think when he drinks from a mug with the slogan “Mad As A Hatter”. It’s a little gem of a piece; I’ve only just come across production company Golden Age Theatre and they have several other filmed performances which I’m certainly going to delve into spurred on by the quality I saw here."

John Chapman '2nd From Bottom' Online Theatre Reviews

“Both Tom Everatt and Beata Taczalska have the measure of their characters and give committed and spirited performances ably directed by the writer himself.”

“an interesting experiment in wringing value from the monologue form”

“the two plays go right to the heart of the whole of the ongoing gender debate where the terminology surrounding identity seems to grow by the day"

John Chapman '2nd From Bottom' Online Theatre Reviews

“Dixon Potter has written a biting but never bitter parody of the conservative, flag-waving, Brexit supporter threatened by anything different to him” “The Croydon borders setting is very convincing” “Summerville is excellent, elicting a certain amount of sympathy for Trevor, whose complaints of being looked down upon ring true despite his beleaguered outlook. His confession careers comically and inevitably towards disaster, like a Midsummer Murders plot gone wrong, a cleverly, lightly written combination of tragedy and farce.”

Tom Bolton 

“Appalling but fascinating” “another horribly enjoyable performance from Summerville who, it’s beginning to seem, revels in presenting us with compellingly repulsive people who think they can excuse themselves via confession but who condemn themselves out of their own mouths at every turn. He makes Trevor into a fully believable character with little vocal tics and gestural nuances which quickly give us the measure of the man but somehow like the Ancient Mariner he compels us to listen to his tale. The piece is another confession with a neat twist as to the identity of the confessional figure.” “Well worth catching up on and feature an actor with a great deal of skill.”

john Chapman (2nd from bottom thetare reviews).

“Confession could not have been more timely” “It’s a quite horrifying tale” “Summerville is in top form here creating another monster hiding beneath a cloak of respectability” “Dunderdale is a loathsome and even quite dangerous individual; Summerville’s skill is in making him someone so watchable even as we are repulsed” “a series of short scenes each with more disturbing revelations than the last. The thing is that somehow it all seems so believable.”

John Chapman. 2nd from bottom theatre reviews.

“Clearly a comment on the whole #MeToo movement of recent years, this is a tightly scripted and thought provoking piece where the actions and morality of both key characters are called into question. When a tragedy ensues the audience is left wondering to whom the title may refer." 

"This monologue series seems to be shaping up nicely and is certainly unafraid to tackle some of the big subjects of the day as evidenced here, in yesterday’s pair about gender politics and in the piece Denial about Covid conspiracy theorists.”

John Chapman '2nd From Bottom' Online Theatre Reviews