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March/April 2008
'Art' by Jasmina Resa

reviewed by Elaine Squire in The Isle of Wight County Press 04/04/08
(reproduced by kind permission of
the Isle of Wight County Press)

TWO performers stood out on the opening night of Art by Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society on Thursday last week.
One was Daniel Cawtheray, who was convincing in the part of Yvan, a slightly simple and naive people-pleaser who tries to keep the peace between his two friends, Marc and Serge, whose friendship is disintegrating.

The pair are at loggerheads over Serge’s purchase of a pretentious piece of modern art, a 5ft by 4ft white canvas with a couple of barely-visible white diagonal and horizontal stripes bought for 200,000 francs.

Daniel delivered a number of amusing and complex quick-fire monologues in which he not only portrayed his character but that of his fiancee and mother too.

Unfortunately, the other stand-out performance came from the prompter, who probably had as many lines as the other two cast members, Stefan Gough, playing Marc, and Paul Stevens, as Serge. Had the dialogue been delivered without interruption, it would have been an enjoyable performance of a renowned comedy because the quality of both Stefan and Paul’s acting was really quite good.

But, the stilted flow and periods of awkward silence broken only by the timid female voice of the prompter emanating frequently from the wings, really ruined it for me.

The audience, which was disappointing in number, was also probably disappointed, judging by the rare bouts of laughter.
One can only assume either the power cut, which hit Cowes on the night and temporarily plunged the Trinity Theatre into darkness, or the cough which Paul Stevens was clearly struggling with, was to blame and that on subsequent nights the performance would be much improved.

Elaine Squire

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