"An amazing Tour de force"
by David Rumelle for remotegoat on 11/07/16

This exploration of one of the Uk's leading theatre practioner's should be prescribed viewing for any drama school -not only because it's protagonist Joan Littlewood arguably made British theatre what it is today-but it is a master class in characterisation, multi characterisation, physical theatre improvisation and stand up comedy-all wrapped up expertly by it's deviser and solo performer- Gemskii (and superbly directed by Oliver Senton.)
In short-the work and career of Joan Littlewood is explored in depth and encompasses three superb re-incarnations of Littlewood,Shelagh Delaney and an uncannily accurate Barbara Windsor (complete with all her vocal idiosyncrasies !)
Littlewoods's career is told using every device at Gemskii's disposal - ajit prop, a clever pierot"drill" routine(echoing "Oh What a lovely war") to drill home-Joan's varied method's and even the lighting is controlled by Littlewood herself.
It touches on the techniques of Laban , Stanislavsky and Littlewood's extraordinary methods to uncover the truth in her actor's performances-even down to the extent of eight hour improvisation !
Pre-ceded by a montage of quotes from actors who were under Littlewood's spell ( Sheila Hancock, Victor Spinetti to name but a couple) we are also privileged to a glimpse of the men in Littlewood's life who contributed to her "Theatre " workshop-particularly Gerry Raffles-and there is a well deserved homage to the home of it all at Theatre Royal, Stratford East.
The production never flags for a moment-and encompasses so much material(even a reference to the much maligned Lionel Bart musical- "Twang")-we are treated to song and dance from "Barbara Windsor and an in-depth interview with Shelagh Delaney discussing her hit play- "A Taste of honey".
Gemskii's style is intimate, engrossing and utterly compelling-one feels one really has spent an hour in the great Lady's company by the end of the piece. She has succeeded on all levels to do what Littlewood intended to be truthful, thought provoking and fluid in delivery. If ever an audience left having had an encounter with it's protagonist-this is it ! Catch Gemskii's brilliant performance wherever you can !

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