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Theatre backs talented Sian Websdale and Harry Quirk

PUBLISHED: 10:14 07 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 07 September 2018

Harry Quirk and Sian Websdale are graduates of Seagull Theatre productions. Photo: Judith betts

Harry Quirk and Sian Websdale are graduates of Seagull Theatre productions. Photo: Judith betts

Judith Betts

Review: A night with....Sian Websdale and Harry Quirk at the Seagull Theatre, Pakefield

I love how The Seagull Theatre supports graduates of its productions like Sian Websdale and Harry Quirk, who have been studying drama for the past year.

For one evening, the theatre allowed the dynamic duo the opportunity to showcase what they’ve been studying.

It was very much a family affair, with Harry and Sian’s mums selling tickets for a raffle. Like the price of the tickets, all proceeds went towards supporting Harry and Sian’s studies, and the auditorium was crammed.

The pace of the evening was fast, ranging through a series of comedy sketches, with one exception, the last vignette – The Call of the Revolution by Leonid Andreyev.

This ten minute play was inspired by the Russian Revolution in October 1917, in which a husband and wife movingly discuss the impermanence of domestic life in the face of historical events.

It was a bit of an odd choice to finish on, but confirmed that both Harry and Sian are excellent serious actors. I’d like to see them tackling more material like this.

The rest of the evening was frantic and funny. Harry is a natural comic actor.

He reminds me of both Rory Kinnear and Ronnie Barker, and I can see him him taking on roles tailored to their similar strengths.

Sian makes a very good straight woman, coming into her own with the sketch ‘Sleepers’ by Michael Frayn, about a ‘husband and wife’ duo of statues trying to get some sleep on a church tomb.

She underplays the dialogue with great subtlety, realising that if the script is this good,you can let the lines speak for themselves.

The pair were joined by Matthew White for ‘Romeo and Juliet (Abridged)’, a truncated romp through Shakespeare’s play. Why the talented Mr White is going to Cardiff to study physics is a bit of a mystery, as he’s a theatrical force of nature and the stage is clearly his natural habitat.

After that, the trio took a curtain call and thanked everyone for coming.

It’s very tough trying to make it as an up and coming actor in the performing arts these days, so events like Sian and Harry’s are very worthwhile, because people can see how they’re developing as artistes, as well as contribute towards their continuing studies.

ROBERT FAIRCLOUGH

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