The Art of Stephanie Sinclaire :: Painting, Art, Film, Theatre, Writing

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

Stephanie Sinclaire Lightsmith

Theatrical Reviews

THE SHADOWMASTER

TOP FIVE CRITICS CHOICE, LONDON

Benedict Nightingale, The Times

 

“Pleasingly topsy turvy…The tiny stage, house one side and garden the other, is delightfully designed by Georgia Lowe.”

Fiona Mountford, The Evening Standard

 

“Joanna, played with finesse by the suitably glamorous Charlotte Radford, turns … from a steamy seductress into a cardigan wearing drip of a wife … Helen Anker shows her versatility as the snooty Lady Caroline who turns free spirit in the woods, and Neil Henry who at one moment seems perfectly cast as the sappy and crooked servant and at the next inhabits the skin of a money-hungry city worker with similar ease, is as thrilling in his acting as in his magic, while Billy Geraghty’s tormented artist is masterful.”

Kate Jackson, What’s On Stage

 

“FOUR STARS….Director Stephanie Sinclaire has cast her characters beautifully and added modern relevance to her adaptation….This is an elegant, stylish production … ”

Aline Waites, Ham & High

 

“Satisfying emotional resonance”

Andrew Haydon, Time Out

 

“Keith Faulkner plays Lob with confidence and ease, his fluid body drifting around the set controlling the action and keeping the servants in order. Neil Henry as the butler Matey turns his hand to some real magic, which is always a delight, and in the second half pairs off with the snooty Lady Caroline – Helen Anker, in a plum role. Naomi Preston-Low steals the show as the perky and precocious innocent of the piece, Margaret.

 

In a love triangle, Oliver Stoney plays a seedy musician who cheats on his wife. Katherine Kastin is Mabel, a vivacious actor who brings energy to the role and works remarkably well opposite Charlotte Radford as the flighty Joanna. Billy Geraghty and Oona Kirsch complete the dinner party as a couple on the verge of emotional collapse, mourning for the child they never had Stephanie Sinclaire’s direction is tight and is complimented by a superb artistic team, including some wonderful movement – considering the intimacy of the King’s Head stage – by Marc Urquhart. Georgia Lowe’s wonderful set creates a mystical wood and ancient manor house beautifully coloured and enchantingly lit by Peter Harrison”

Paul Vale, The Stage

 

“More Pan’s Labyrinth than Master of Shadows. A magically mysterious piece that feels like a collision between A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was particularly taken by Neil Henry’s weirdly louche servant. Keith Faulkner plays the master of ceremonies, Lob, like Gene Wilder on angel dust. Helen Anker transforms enjoyably from stuffy Lady Caroline to lively woodland sprite … UNMISSABLE”

Camden New Journal

 

PETER PAN

‘BERNSTEIN’S SCORE TAKES FLIGHT AT LAST
… Stephanie Sinclaire’s delightful production of her own adaptation synthesised from JM Barrie’s various versions of his self-invented myth is uplifting … the tunes are lovely; the wit (Bernstein was his own lyricist) is deft and mischievous; and the new arrangements written by Mike Dixon, which orchestrate the music for piano, cello, clarinet and flute, combine breadth and crisp clarity managing to project everything from dreamy sensuality to the tongue and cheek attack of Tiger Lily and her Braves. Hook is brilliantly played with a flamboyant, nervous energy and drolly self-guying swagger by the hilarious Peter Land (who doubles as the neurotically sly and cowardly Mr. Darling). The delicious mermaids sing solipsistically of the lazy, hazy sea and sand delights’
Paul Taylor, The Independent

 

TOP FIVE CRITICS CHOICE THE TIMES
‘Seventeen months after the death of its founder Dan Crawford, the Kings Head can still claim to be one of the most enterprising outfits in town. Imagine: 22 performers somehow contriving to share a stage that’s the size of a largish handkerchief and even managing a soupcon of flying. Imagine it again: a pub theatre in Islington giving the British stage premiere of the score that Leonard Bernstein wrote for Peter Pan in 1950 … and the world premiere of the complete score … splendidly raggety Lost Boys … Kastin is a fine Peter … she’s absolutely credible as the exhilarated lad-Barrie’s wishful self-portrait perhaps – ‘who always want to be a boy and have fun’.

 

Lisa Holliman is a sweet apple-cheeked Wendy and Peter Land … gives a certain menace. Stephanie Sinclaire’s production is clear, surprisingly uncrowded … warm and good-natured. This is a revival that gives them plenty to wonder at.’

Benedict Nightingale, The Times

 

FOUR STARS SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
‘Despite the physical limitations, the production and performance values could not be higher, and that’s before one even mentions that the director, Stephanie Sinclaire, is making theatre history. This is the first time Bernstein’s score and lyrics for the play have been performed in their entirety … it’s a chamber piece of great fun and emotional richness. The score, arranged by Mike Dixon for three performers (piano; clarinet, flute and piccolo), is lyrical, jazzy and ripe with pastiche and nostalgic elegy. It places narrative above musical fireworks, allowing a versatile cast, led by Lisa Holliman as a sweet pure voiced Wendy, crack on with the story. For children, it’s a snappy no-nonsense telling; for adults it’s a troubled tale of burgeoning sexuality’

Tim Auld, Sunday Telegraph

 

FOUR STARS SUNDAY TIMES
‘It is the first production to use Leonard Bernstein’s complete score, lovingly orchestrated by Mike Dixon for three players to suit the Islington pub theatre’s, er, intimate space….this early work offers a snapshot of a composer exploring his potential, and songs with a vigour rare in children’s theatre. Stephanie Sinclaire’s production does Bernstein and Barrie proud, staying faithful to the original while refracting it through the prism of a more knowing age. She’s helped by Katherine Kastin’s feisty Peter and Lisa Holliman’s Wendy, who captures the awkwardness of adolescent awakening. Lost boys and pirates lend colourful support.’

Matthew Davis, Sunday Times

 

‘IF IT’S A HIGH CULTURE VERSION OF TRADITIONAL SEASONAL ENTERTAINMENT you’re after, director Stephanie Sinclaire’s adaptation of JM Barrie’s children’s classic, featuring a rarely performed score by Leonard Bernstein, may prove the ticket. Peter land delivers a gorgeously sung soliloquy; with punky hair and eye make-up somewhat reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie, Katherine Kastin’s Peter has impressive, almost alarming, emotional depth. This is a ‘Pan’ that doesn’t seek to conceal the darkness at the heart of Barrie’s tale, with orphaned Lost Boys (a particularly adoptable bunch) and disconsolate lost pirates competing with unsettling intensity to secure the rights to be mothered by Wendy. Kastin is the star of the show.’

Robert Shore, Time Out

 

‘IN THAT TYPICALLY RESOURCEFUL WAY OF THIS EVER AMBITIOUS THEATRE that always likes to think bigger than it is – they’ve pulled off a rare theatrical first … to reconstruct Leonard Bernstein’s 1950 Broadway musical version of the JM Barrie story, interpolating songs that had been written for later versions but never before used in theatrical performance … director Stephanie Sinclaire lends it an earnest sincerity that is charming and eventually disarming. The emphasis is inevitably on storytelling rather than spectacle and complete with a live Tinkerbell (rather than a light effect), it has a poignant appeal for young audiences as well.’

Mark Shenton, The Stage

 

‘ON A TINY STAGE, YOUNG HEARTS WERE SENT POUNDING as we watched Peter Pan, Wendy and her … brothers fly! It always surprises that a venue no larger than a lost boy’s soap-dish should stage such a professional and extravagant production with apparent ease. Stephanie Sinclaire adapted and directed the piece with obvious love for Barrie’s original tale. This production benefits from the musical score of Leonard Bernstein, skilfully arranged for an orchestra of three by Mike Dixon. Bernstein’s interpretation is light-hearted and fresh and caters to adult and child tastes alike. As for the cast, this 22 strong ensemble play their hearts out with professionalism and commitment that is worthy of praise. The result, real love and adoration from an exceptionally young audience, accompanied by pure enjoyment by young at heart adults. Lost Boys, Charlie Wild, Liam McDonnell, Ben Boorman and Luke Shoefield created a wonderful comic team. John Fricker’s manic Smee is particularly worth of mention. The Kings Head … has created a children’s entertainment worthy of any West End theatre.’

Kevin Quarmby, Rogues and Vagabonds

 

‘SMALL MASTERPIECES OF COMPRESSION. This is the theatrical premiere of the full score written by Leonard Bernstein. The main Neverland section is exuberant, with Katherine Kastin as an ebullient Peter. It turns the most cramped theatre in London into a place of fun and fantasy for a brief while, and when Peter made his famous appeal to the audience to revive the dying Tinkerbell (Meg Dixon) by clapping our hands, even hard-bitten critics were applauding like billy-o.’

Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

 

‘THE PLAY’S THE THING AND THIS MAGICAL PETER PAN SHOULD PROVE JUST RIGHT … Lavishly costumed by Gary Page and inventively choreographed by Marc Urquhart … a delightful Tinkerbell shared by three young girls during the run … everyone will ‘truly believe in fairies’ by the end of this fast paced evening. Emma Munro-Wilson makes an elegant and comely Mrs. Darling while John Fricker’s canine Nana is a star turn.

Clive Burton, Theatreworld Internet Magazine

 

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