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May 26, 2008 | by  | in Theatre |
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North-ward, Ho!

I could tell by the expressions of utter pleasure on the faces of the boys/girls on the poster that this play would be a winner, and it certainly did not disappoint! North-ward Ho, THEA 302’s major production for the year, was a fun and at times outlandish play about sexual misconduct and adultery, themes which were magnified through the cross-gendering of the entire cast; all of the boys in the show were played by girls, and all of the girls in the show (there were but a few) were played by boys.

One of the highlights for me was the confidence with which the cast took to the stage. Each member of the ensemble seemed as though they were relishing the chance to step out of their comfort zones and put themselves on the line. Nick Bourchier was disturbingly stunning as the prostitute Doll, bearing a rather uncanny resemblance to Famke Janssen (from Nip/Tuck and Goldeneye). Laura Campbell also shone as the portly (and apparently well-equipped) merchant Mayberry, demonstrating a high calibre of skill through her frivolous characterisation. It must be said though that the entire cast maintained a remarkably high level of quality and a consistent energy right through to the conclusion of the play.

Design elements were strong in this production. The set was striking, recalling the spatial arrangement of the Jacobean era as well as suggesting a bed through the inclusion of posts to either side of the stage – appropriate, considering the content of the play. A large map of 16th century England dominated the rear wall, which was finely detailed and a credit to the design team. Similarly, the costumes were impressive in their effort and scope; the women in particular were suitably tacky and/or tasteless yet always dressed with an appropriately flambouyant flair.

Overall, North-ward Ho was a very strong production and a promising beginning to Vic’s production season this semester.

North-ward, Ho!
Written by Thomas Dekker and John
Directed by David Carnegie and David
At Studio 77
May 14 – 17

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