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05:32 | 24th October 2017

Reviews: Live Shows

Tue 27 May, 2014
By Robert Ingham


With a sumptuous set and a keen eye for detail, this play will pull and play with your emotions

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Above The Stag theatre show they are comfortable with tackling controversial subject matter with their latest production, ‘Sandel’, open until 14th June on Miles Street in Vauxhall.

Adapted and directed by Glenn Chandler from the cult novel of the same name. Seemingly inspired by true events, it is the story of a love affair between 19 year old undergraduate, David Rogers, and 14 year old Cathedral choirboy, Antony Sandel in the late 1960s. The two lovers are watched cautiously by David’s best friend, Bruce Lang, who warns them of the dire consequences should they ever get caught.

However, Anthony’s naivety and careless attitude threatens to shake their lives to the core.

Joseph Lindoe, playing David Rogers, is naturally convincing as the young man who gets swept away and, ultimately broken by the precocious youngster. He looks the part and draws you in. Ashley Cousins’ character of Antony Sandel is an annoying little brat in the first half but really comes into his possessive and manipulative own in the second act, showing great promise as an actor – one to look out for. And Calum Fleming endearingly brings the role of Bruce Lang to life, swanning around the stage with great charisma and slight camp, with some delicious lines throughout.

There are a couple of things I would change – perhaps the end of the first act fizzles rather than bangs and, whilst the scene changes are slick, there is something a little creepy and repetitive about how they are carried out. However, these are minor irritations which don’t threaten the play as a whole.

‘Sandel’ is well written and directed, and performed assuredly. With a sumptuous set and a keen eye for detail, this play will pull and play with your emotions, especially as it draws to its conclusion. It is as relevant today as it was when it was first published, but is not heavy or preachy, and is a welcome addition to what is turning out to be a very varied and exciting year for Above The Stag theatre.

(photos by Derek Drescher)

 

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