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Review: Send More Paper, Northern Stage, Newcastle

Northern Stage's graduate class of 2014 bring laughs to a tale of murder and revenge as Ryan Tute found out

***
Northern Stage
Northern Stage

Described as an “uplifting tale about murder” this play is based on the true 20th Century tale of a group of women in Hungary who killed for revenge, greed and sheer enjoyment over a 15 year period.

Directed by Mark Calvert the production comes from Northern Stage’s North14 - this year’s chosen group of performing arts graduates - and pulls off the telling of a pretty grisly story with humour, providing a comic and modern twist to storytelling.

There is a distinct simplicity to the show which adds to the intimacy and highlights the clever script and impressive delivery of the cast.

The youthful use of music and clothing gives a 21st Century take on the historic Hungarian background in which the story is set. The production tells the story of a revengeful and calculated circle of women who unite in a hatred of misogynist men.

One by one, men are struck down as they unwillingly drink bottles of fly poison in their sleazy advances. Soon though, the women begin to lack conviction in their murders.

Systematic calls from the wives of wanting ‘power’ and having ‘sugar in my bowl’ in one dark scene using only torches superbly emphasises their change in demeanour.

The play ends with the satisfied, almost crazed wives revelling in their efforts by throwing dozens and dozens of empty bottles in the air, each one marking the death of a husband, son or father.

The fresh-faced graduate cast manage to mix humour and death menacingly well and the audience left the theatre knowing they had they had been fed their own bowl of sugar.

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