Vincent in Brixton in Altrincham

Amateur theatre just doesn’t get enough credit.  I mean, there is certainly amateur theatre that fits the cliché, but a large part of what is put on these days is excellent.  And increasingly amateur theatres are embracing both challenging plays and the concept of the ‘studio’ production.

I read Vincent in Brixton a couple of years ago and couldn’t understand how it had won an Olivier Award in 2003.  So when I noticed it was being performed at Altrincham Garrick’s 48 seat Lauriston Studio, it seemed a good opportunity to see how the finished play looked.  The play is a fictional account of Vincent van Gogh’s stay in a London house between 1873 and 1876, but the characters and plot stick closely to what we know about the man and his paintings.

Jamie Sloan is a convincing Vincent struggling with his demons, and trying to find a direction in life; there is real depth and sensitivity to the performance.  Director Jacqueline Wheble brings together an excellent cast on a well designed set to create a compelling portrait of the place and people that shaped the painter’s early life.  The play brings the text alive and the end result is impressive; there are layers within this play.  Throughout, there are charming references to future paintings; sunflowers, chairs and boots.

It’s an impressive production, especially a studio production, and shows again that amateur theatre can produce the most compelling productions of challenging plays.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

One Response to “Vincent in Brixton in Altrincham”

  1. Jacqueline Wheble says:

    Why thank you sir. Was worried the little reference to paintings might be a bit hackneyed !! But went with it anyway!!! Thank you for review. Was blessed by an exceptionally good cast!

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