A Clockwork Orange
By Anthony Burgess
Directed by Julie Grant
9th / 10th February 2007
The Hat Factory, Luton
16th / 17th February 2007
Trestle Arts Base, St Albans
21st February 2007
The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead
23rd / 24th February 2007
The Lytton Theatre, Stevenage
Click here to view the trailer.
Is it good to take away man's right to choose evil?
Is violence something we learn, or just part of the process of growing up?
Alex accidentally commits murder, takes the easy way out (only to find it's not so easy), loses himself and finds Beethoven. The Anthony Burgess tale of gang violence, overcrowded prisons and expedient political solutions holds up a distorting mirror to Britain in the millennium.
This funny and fast moving production fuses live action, film and song to remix A Clockwork Orange for the hoodie generation.
OVO embraces hoodie-style Burgess
1st March 2007
NO-ONE could ever accuse St Albans drama group OVO of shirking a challenge and productions don't come more daunting than A Clockwork Orange. The Anthony Burgess novel that became a cult film in the hands of Stanley Kubrick is not an easy project to translate to the stage. But by a combination of assured live performance, music and film, OVO has come up with a clever and topical production which manages to be entertaining at the same time.
In the hands of accomplished director Julie Grant, the tale of Alex and the Droogs who get a buzz out of violence until the famous brain-washing episode makes a very watchable production. To demonstrate that there is a bit of Alex, the protagonist, in all of us the mantle of the role switches, quite literally, between most of the characters, male and female. It is a clever device which takes a bit of getting used to but is effective. The scenery is stark with just one revolving prop but it is used to great effect, particularly in the brainwashing scene which is played out by a female actress clamped from behind by the hands of other cast members. The scenes where Alex responds to the music of Beethoven as a result are both shocking and compelling.
OVO has chosen a cast which combines established and first-time performers and particular mention needs to be made of newcomers Tania Rowe and Faith Turner, appearing with the company for the first time. Both girls are very accomplished actresses and manage to slot so seamlessly into the role of Alex that they become almost interchangeable. Making up the rest of the cast are Rona Cracknell, Anna MacLeod, Simon Nicholas, Dan Warren and Edmund White - all of whom, without exception, give good performances.
Julie Grant has indeed remixed A Clockwork Orange for the hoodie generation and she and her cast richly deserved the enthusiastic applause which greeted the end of a recent performance at Trestle Theatre in St Albans.
Stage Manager - Anne Fairpo
Assistant Stage Managers - Keith Adsley, Stuart Goaman, Sara Nicholas
Film - Matt Jeffs, Simon Nicholas
Lighting - Doz Brook
Sound - Michael Reed
Set - Simon Nicholas
Properties and Costume - The Company
Stage Combat - Roger Bartlett
Publicity and Programme - Adam Nichols
Media - Lisa White