Events

BABCPHL Theatre Night Recap

BABCPHL Theatre Night

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Drake – Louis Bluver Theatre, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Recap

On Thursday, February 22, 2018 BABCPHL members and friends gathered for a Welsh play US premier, followed by food and drinks with the director and playwright. Welsh playwright Alan Harris wrote Love, Lies and Taxidermy – a romantic comedy about growing up in a small town in Wales. The play was directed by BABCPHL member Inis Nua. Inis Nua, translating to “new island”, is a Philadelphia-based theatre company that produces contemporary, provocative plays from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales which reflect those cultures’ new identities in today’s world. Tom Reing is the Founder and Artistic Director of Inis Nua and has presented over 16 American premiers.  Love, Lies and Taxidermy was a perfect example of how Inis Nua brings UK culture to the US for Philadelphians to enjoy.

Guests gathered at the Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake for the 7:00 p.m. sold-out showing of Love, Lies and Taxidermy. The Welsh playwright, Alan Harris, attended the show as well. Alan has written 12 plays that have been performed throughout the world. He has also written plays for BBC Radio4 and Radio3. Love, Lies and Taxidermy is his most recent Welsh romantic comedy. The play casts three actors who played multiple roles throughout the show. Francesca Piccioni played Ashely, a teenager struggling with romance and her poor father’s struggling ice-cream truck business. She also played the role of Valentyn’s mother. Joseph Teti played the role of Valentyn who is also an inexperienced teenager dealing with the separation of his parents and his new romance with Ashley. Seth Reichgott held the role of several characters including the both Valentyn’s Polish immigrant farther, and Ashley’s struggling merchant father. The three actors preformed the entire play in European accents, despite all being American.

The minimalist stage design was completely black except for the up-lit taxidermy animals dramatically illuminated throughout the room. The audience was seated in the round, surrounding the stage where the actors performed. The lighting and use of a few props enhanced the plot and kept the audience engaged. There were several references to modern culture and movies including the famous Ron Burgundy which had everyone laughing. Because the play consisted of three people, the actors often provided narration, background, and flashbacks to help the audience understand the plot. The play covered several topics including: romance, poverty, immigration, and various professions. The seemingly happy-go-lucky play was simultaneously dark, emotional, comical, and fun to watch.

After the play, guests walked down the street to Fado’s Irish Pub to meet with the director, playwright, and actors. Guests ate, drank, and mingled for 30 minutes before Efe Sokol, Senior Representative with the Welsh Government at the British Consulate General in New York City, and BABCPHL Board Member, introduced Alan Harris and Tom Reing. Efe thanked them and the other guests before Tom and the audience took turns asking Alan about the play and his creative process. Interestingly, the play was written without assigned characters and names. Tom talked about the difficulty of assigning specific lines to the actors. Two of the three actors, who attended the post-play reception, discussed their methods for interpreting and performing their roles. The conversation continued well into the evening. Efe closed the discussion by thanking everyone who attended, especially Tom, Alan, and the actors. The BABCPHL would like to congratulate Inis Nua for bringing this outstanding Welsh show to the stage in Philadelphia. Visit Inis Nua’s website for additional information about this show as well as upcoming productions.

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The BABCPHL recognizes our Club Level Members:

  • Almac
  • American Airlines
  • Bartlett
  • Cigna
  • Deloitte
  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Duane Morris
  • EisnerAmper LLP
  • HSBC
  • Johnson, Kendall & Johnson, Inc.
  • McConnell Johnson Real Estate
  • Morgan Lewis
  • Law Firm of Pepper Hamilton
  • TD Bank
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic