Bolstoff – Smock Alley – Review
BOLSTOFF: A Modern Actor’s Introduction to Advanced Contemporary Performance
14 + 15 Dec
Who was the mysterious Bolstoff and what can we learn from his acting techniques? While little is known of Bolstoff himself, he was a Hungarian director with a massive reputation. His teachings seemed to be lost to the world until the Wicker Socks collective managed to buy them in a police auction! Now, they are giving them back to the acting community with a series of workshops where we can see these fascinating techniques for the first time! While the workshop was aimed at actors, members of the public were permitted to attend also.
This is a light hearted production by the Wicker Socks theatre company that pokes fun at the various ‘schools of acting’ and those that take their profession all too seriously. The group show the techniques while they struggle with their own personal lives. One waits for a call from his agent to confirm if he has got his big break! One was just dumped by his girlfriend on his birthday and really is not emotionally fit to be on stage at all! We get to see their personal struggles alongside the various obscure and bizarre techniques.
As for Bolstoff, his techniques are questionable at the best of times. To master an accent, he recommends you eat the food of a region. To extract the full comedic effect of a gag, he recommends a seven second pause before the punchline is delivered! These and other techniques are displayed on stage with various pratfalls and mistakes along the way.
The three actors have excellent comic timing and while the gags vary in quality, there are some hilarious moments and touches. It is a good introduction to the three young actors in Fionn Foley, Michael-David McKernan and Ronan Carey and does show what they are capable of as a comic trio. As this is billed as a workshop, it does feel like the show may require some fine tuning to really hit the heights, but there is loads of potential in this work.
Categories: Comedy, Header, Theatre, Theatre Review
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