14 actors. 4 productions. 5 months
Following the huge success of the 2017 Liverpool Everyman Rep Company, the theatre is again embarking on a rep season of plays - comprised of a cast of 14 actors - for their 2018 Line-up, which Sophie has had the privilege of casting.
“If last season looked at our struggle to retain our humanity against all odds, then this season of plays looks at our attempts to shake it all up and do it differently." (Gemma Bodinetz)
Associate director Nick Bagnall will direct Anthony Burgess’s dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange. Described as a ‘nasty little shocker’ by Time Magazine following its release, the production will stay true to Burgess’s novel, with the iconic and anarchic protagonist Alex serving as a reminder that new worlds are not always a good thing.
The Everyman Company season runs from March to July 2018.
★★★★ The Times, Sam Marlowe - 'Nick Bagnall’s production is a freakish cabaret, nastily familiar yet coolly remote':
'The adaptation is Burgess’s own, written in 1986, featuring songs set to the author’s reworking of themes from Alex’s beloved Beethoven. Bagnall’s production, the first to tackle it, is a freakish cabaret, nastily familiar yet coolly remote.
Perhaps that’s intentional: it’s as if we are anaesthetised to its horrors, numbed by the prevalence of violence in a digital world where, with just a few clicks and swipes, we can ogle real-life footage of our most fearful or depraved imaginings. The oddities intrigue, but they also detract from the narrative’s moral and emotional force. The imagery, though, remains potent, and the jagged rhythms of Nadsat — the slang of Alex (baby-faced George Caple) and his rampaging, tolchocking droogs — lends an unnerving edge to even the most noodling musical moments.
The droogs sport costumes nodding to Kubrick and straitjackets. Police in pig masks, and a cadaverous Richard Bremmer doubling as the prison chaplain and Alex’s creepy social worker, are nightmarish visions of authority.
The opening line — “What’s it going to be then, eh?” — arrives with shivering vibraphone and ominous timpani. Alex conducts Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with a flick knife; Ode to Joy is an anthem to the delirium of destruction.'
★★★ whatsonstage.com, Robin Brown:
'The cast makes full use of the possibilities offered by all, resulting in moments both amusing and disturbing. Malcolm McDowell casts a long shadow as white-clad antihero Alex DeLarge, roaming the streets with evil intent, but George Caple does well in conveying the anti-hero's lust for violence while remaining sympathetic and engaging. Richard Bremmer and Keddy Sutton play a variety of characters, stealing scenes with tic-driven performances or asides to the audience.'
★★★ The Guardian, Catherine Love - 'a chilling, ultraviolent cabaret':
'Troublingly, though perhaps aptly, Nick Bagnall’s production is never more stylish than when portraying Alex (a cold-eyed, sneering George Caple) and his droogs’ violent acts in the opening scenes. It takes a while to settle into the rhythms of this early, episodic section, which inducts us into teenager Alex’s world of random brutality. Afterwards, it is these striking, stripped-back moments that linger in the memory.'
★★★ The Stage, Nigel Smith:
'This is a piece packed with moral dilemma and ambiguity, and Caple’s central performance is absolutely compelling. There is no shortage of contemporary relevance and scenes where a “cured” Alex is paraded as a poster boy for the state’s control techniques are particularly chilling.
Bagnall’s production is focused and fired up, with outstanding ensemble work from a tightly rehearsed cast.'