Ok so there is no mention of me… and in fact David is mentioned as the Director… but you know what… I’m still taking it as a compliment.
(For the people who aren’t completely savvy with the circumstances of this play, I directed it with David Rankine as my lead actor and did one show of it in Liverpool for my final assessment at LIPA, David then asked me if he could transfer it to his home town and I said yes, this is the review for the production he did in Moray)
A thought-provoking and captivating show
Published: 15 August, 2008
THE Red Shoes, Elgin was the venue for an outstanding piece of theatre this week, all the more enjoyable because it starred two of our very own home-grown actors.
‘Q.E.D’ by Peter Parnell, a play based on the writings of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, featured David Rankine in the lead role and Laura Hubbard as his student, Miriam Field.
David is due to enter his third year at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), studying a BA in Acting and Laura is about to embark on an acting course at Telford College, Edinburgh.
‘Q.E.D’ was presented as part of the Red Shoes’ Summer Sensation festival and the intimate venue lends itself perfectly to a production of this type.
The opening lines of the play are sung off stage; the audience was engaged immediately and captivated throughout the ensuing two hours, such was the hold this young actor and his intriguing character had over us. The performance ensured we laughed, we cried and we were made to think long and hard.
Feynman â€“ his light-hearted tone and fast pace whilst talking about the most complex of concepts â€“ made it all sound so easy. We became his students with his direct talking to the audience a clever device, making us hungry for more. There was no option to watch passively as we were drawn into the extraordinary life of Feynman, his research, the role he played in the development of the atom bomb and the subsequent horrific consequences of its invention â€“ having to face the terrible truth of the part he played.
We were introduced to a range of characters, all at the end of a phone, all brought to life by a tight script and an actor whose interpretation painted pictures for the audience, making what we couldn’t see so easy to imagine. The frequent phone calls gave us a glimpse of just how ill Feynman was. We saw Feynman the scientist look for ways to shrink a tumour, approaching this like any other problem he had solved in the past, until he was faced with the awful truth â€“ this problem was unsolvable.
David’s portrayal of Feynman’s vulnerability at this point was brilliantly observed and movingly uncomfortable to watch. The audience almost held its breath, feeling his pain as his analytical brain desperately tried to find the solution to his impending death.
We did briefly meet one of Feynman’s students, Miriam Field. Laura’s portrayal of Miriam offered a good contrast to Feynman and allowed us to observe his enthusiasm for passing his knowledge on to his students. When we met her later in the play, there was a tender moment of mutual understanding, beautifully underplayed by both actors, which hit just the right mark.
Watching this performance, it was difficult to appreciate that David is an actor in the infancy of his career. His maturity in performance and attention to detail made him a joy to watch and allowed the appreciative audience to wonder at what he will be capable of in the future.
Directed by David himself (is there no end to his talents?), ‘Q.E.D’ provided an evening of quality entertainment and set high standards for theatre in Moray.
Yep… I consider that my first good review…