A Critic's Review 1
It is my sad duty to report that theatre is dead, at least if the latest performance of 'A Midwinter Night's Tomfoolery' is to be believed. The play - performed as ever by the Guild Actors of Senntisten - rather live up to the group's acronym, which is to say rather a lot of hot GAS.
The leading role of Robinius, the mischievous Chthonian demon who likes to trick people into silly contracts, was performed by the human Aleric White. There are many good things I can say about the notable acting career of Mr White. Some of his past performances have been the stuff of theatrical legend. Sadly, I can ascribe none of these traits to his current performance. Mr White is not as young as he used to be, and has lost his youthful vigour, charm and good looks. Instead of the sophisticated, eloquent and handsome man of yesteryear, Mr White looks like little more than middle-aged sausagemeat stuffed into tights. His performance has the grace and style of a stone-age ballerina, and his delivery of the text so wooden I was surprised no one attempted to chop him down for firewood.
The leading lady was played by the eminently forgettable Cassandra Stropp. While certainly of a more reasonable age to play Queen Gargantiana - the vampyre queen arguing with her husband over which human to drink - Stropp possesses the emotional range of a cheeseboard with none of the joy. She delivers Gargantiana's lines with the panache of a dead squirrel and her flirtatious moments are so poorly delivered they sound like death threats. Though death would be a merciful end to witnessing this debacle.
Still, we cannot lay all the blame for the performance on the actors. Artists are only as good as their materials, and the writing in this play is criminally poor. Where they aim for comedy, their jokes land either flat or convert into insults so thinly veiled I would not be surprised to hear about the playwright's mysterious disappearance after the Praetorians get involved. Where they aim for tragedy, they manage to write in such a way as to accidentally cause laughter. Not for well-written jokes, but simply in the farce of the situation put before us.
After two and a half hours subjected to this blatant attack on the art of theatre, the crowd had thinned to naught but a whisper and my will to live had barely survived the attack.
It is therefore with great delight that I award 'A Midwinter Night's Tomfoolery' a 1-star rating and would recommend that no one ever be subjected to this performance again.