RICHARD ADAMS, The World Socialist Website
RISE, scripted by Cal Barnes and deftly directed by Aaron Lyons, stars Brett Colbeth and Gowrie Hayden, actors fresh from the long-running hit Pulp Shakespeare (a staging of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction as if written by Shakespeare, its Wiki-script emerging from an open on-line collaboration). The cast are members of the newly-formed Zenith Ensemble.
The play begins with Henry Donner (Colberth), an ex-musician in jeans, t-shirt, hair pulled back in a neat ponytail, clutching a bible, grooving to inspirational Christian rock. Donner, we soon discover, is the popular pastor of the New Heart Church. Donner, using the audience as stand-in congregation, delivers an utterly engaging and earnest sermon,...
uncertified reviewerJune 10, 2012
Strong actors, mixed feelings on the direction. Totally fun to watch though!...
uncertified reviewerJune 15, 2012
Ok, let's start with how the two actors had amazing chemistry. You were so interested in their relationship that it did not feel like 70 min.
Second, the clock was a nice touch.
Third, it is a very well written play. I thought it was gonna get cliche at a moment, but I was wrong....it did get a bit cliche later on though.
Overall, I would say you should DEFINITELY see this production. Good theatre is rare, and this is good ...
Strong, developed characters. Compelling portrayals by both actors. Bravo to Cal & Aaron for staging such a fine drama!...
uncertified reviewerJune 20, 2012
This was the most exciting play I have seen in the Fringe and I've seen a lot.
The actors are both exceptional, two of the best in the festival. By the end of the play, I really couldn't imagine the two of them being anyone except the characters in the play.
I couldn't decide which character to support...as they each toggled between antagonist and protagonist. What's more realistic than that? No one is always the hero or the villain.
There is one violent scene where I wasn't even sure the actors were acting. I was going over the scene in my head and could not figure out how they would pull it off without actually injuring someone. That's impressive.
The directing was definitely on the same level as the acting. I'd love to...
uncertified reviewerJune 22, 2012
It's possible for actors to seem too rehearsed, the script and characters to seem too cliched, and the direction to seem too overbearing. The cast and crew work hard, but it comes across as a little self-indulgent and flat on stage. ...
A truly excellent piece of theatre. The writing is strong, assured and continuously surprises. Plot turns wrong foot the audience and are never anticipated. The direction is pitch perfect. Both actors believable, always watchable and well matched. Bravo!...