DUETS 2016

Court Theatre Pub Charity Studio, Christchurch

23/06/2016 - 25/06/2016

Production Details

The Court Youth Company devise, develop and deliver a smorgasbord of bite-sized theatrical treats in this showcase performance. Duets features a series of duos and solo actors presenting pieces created during the term.

These bold new works could be anything: from dramatic to comedic, physical to silent (or even musical) – and all will be daring and different. Enjoy a delightfully diverse goodie bag served up by talented emerging performers.

Contains mature content. This show is not available as part of the 2016/17 Subscription but is open to public.


The Court Theatre Pub Charity Studio
23 Jun 2016 – 25 Jun 2016


Stage Manager and Operator: Jo Bunce

Cast: Group A 
William Burns and Electra Scott
Jacob Kuek
Isabelle Kennedy and Georgia Doyle
Nick Cheesebrough
Calvin Kruger and Rosie Gilmore
Jesse Ranson
Millie Hanford and Patrick James

Cast: Group B 
Harry Stanley and Sam McLean
Rachel Pugh
Ola Ratka and Sophia Benter-Lynch
Adelaide Perry
Vincent Andrew-Scammell
Maddie Harris and Benji Clark  

Youth , Theatre ,

A lively blast of teenspeak

Review by Lindsay Clark 24th Jun 2016

Two separate groups of performers present their work for this showcase, separated by a good long interval, so the duration does not feel as ponderous as the above figure might suggest. In fact with its energetic, often wildly entertaining kaleidoscope of offerings, the evening seems more like a festival, celebrating the daring business of putting together words and action that will work for an audience.  

Two assistant directors, Dan Bain and Tom Eason, are credited with helping the resourceful Daniel Pengelly bring the work of young actor/writers to public performance standard and with the range involved it would have been a challenging project.

Thirteen pieces stream by, mostly calibrated for humour, whether from the rich grab bag of social comment or character-based sketches or something in between. What is refreshing, from a generation often accused of indulgent self-concern, is their focus on making things work for an audience and their ability to laugh at themselves as well as the rest of us.

Subject matter suggests that whereas parents, school, sex and self-confidence are hot topics in a general sense, both perception and theatre know-how within this group serve up some freshly imaginative specifics.

‘Tea for Two’ from Calvin Kruger and Rosie Gilmore, uses mask and mime to great effect, augmented by a generous ‘volunteer’ who finds himself playing the role of attentive guest.

The same half of the programme concludes with another gem, ‘The Dick and Fanny Show’ (double entendre is rife tonight). It is a rousing send-up of family shows, here in 1950s American style, where devoted brother and sister, Patrick James and Millie Hanford “learn about the importance of love, family and religion”. Complete with scene breaks for riotous rock ‘n’ roll, this piece is typically shrewd in its commentary on the absurdity of soap entertainment. 

After the break, ‘Scared Skitless’ from Harry Stanley and Sam McLean echoes comedy sketch couples with complete assurance and control. Whether a pair of mourners indulging in one-upmanship over familiarity with the deceased or zooming in on DVD hire, sound drive horror or the potency of pills in sport, this duo opens the second half with style.

A more developed story line is presented by Ola Ratka and Sophia Benter-Lynch in ‘James and the Giant…’ where James is on his way to a first romance, at the mercy of advice from his macho buddy, his mum and the girl herself. James has a lot of sympathy from the audience as he is tested by the rites of passage. 

These, then, are four of thirteen, but all have a clear idea to convey and all are well worth experiencing. Dialogue is mostly crisp and punchy, stagecraft smoothly seen to and acting presence in very good shape. Several pieces are solo efforts, all the more creditable for the assurance they demand.

A lively blast of teenspeak, this third season of youth theatre at The Court is well on its way to establishing a tradition of irreverent and enjoyable theatre. 


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