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Review: Before a Fall by Quartz Youth Theatre

Devised show brought many laughs from the audience

Actors from Quartz Youth Theatre in Before a Fall

If you want to know what 30 or more young people of Chester have been getting up to during the Christmas holidays, head to St Mary's Creative Space.

Quartz Youth Theatre have been learning lines, practising songs and dances and making masks and puppets to present their original interpretation of the Greek myths of Icarus, Theseus and the Minotaur.

Eve Lawlor and Rachael Devaney as Icarus and Daedalus, of Quartz Youth Theatre, in Before a Fall

Before a Fall was directed by Michael Beigel with musical direction by Joe Mann, both former members of Theatre in the Quarter's youth project Jigsaw Music Theatre who are now professionally trained performers and directors.

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The mythological tales were interwoven in a labyrinthine plot that involved queens playing the role of kings, boys girls, girls boys and heroes and gods of all persuasions. It's certainly not only the likes of Glenda Jackson who can take on regal roles but my classical training did cause my brain to jar when anyone with a name ending in 'us' or 'os' turned out to be a girl. Thesea, Icara and Daedala would have made me so much more relaxed and was good enough for Helen Mirren in the 2010 film of The Tempest!

Katie Hall as Theseus in Quartz Youth Theatre's Before a Fall

Quartz Youth Theatre is less than three-years-old but already has more than doubled in size since its inception in 2014 and maintaining the tradition of giving everyone a chance to shine, there wasn't one actor without a line and everyone was involved in every aspect of the production.

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With 30 actors vying for position, this led to humour throughout the show which began with a Kirk Douglas-style I AM SPARTACUS scene with everyone claiming to be Hermes, the messenger god. A reference to Amazon Prime (and not signing up for an annual fee) brought the first of many laughs from the audience.

Actors from Quartz Youth Theatre present Before a Fall

I loved the masks and puppetry and it was great to see young people developing skills that are so important in live theatre these days. Some of the songs were very challenging for young voices - it is great for them to be introduced to complex harmonies, but at times I felt they were a little over complicated.

A puppet in Before a Fall

Before a Fall is at St Mary's Creative Space this evening, Tuesday, January 10 at 7.30pm. Tickets £7 adult and £5 concessions are available from Ticket Source or on the door.

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