OYT Past Reviews - Oasis Academy Lords Hill

Mitchell’s Wings (2011)
The promenade performance concept worked brilliantly in the Oasis Academy space. Director
Carrington, showed masterly control in utilising the space, the actors and the audience.
Karen Robson Southern Evening Echo
One Million to STOP THE TRAFFIK (2010)
Physical theatre at its best, pacey, thought provoking, powerful, entertaining. For a young
drama teacher just starting out you are an inspiration of what can be achieved with a group of
young performers and the opportunities available to us as drama professionals.
Olivia Murphy – Trainee teacher (Bitterne Park School)
Here we had an excellent example of a play which not only shows the power of physical
theatre at its best but also challenges the audience in its ideas. None of this would work if it
were not for the seamless fluency of the performance in which the actors, set, lighting and
sound all combined to give us a high-octane, exhilarating, disciplined production which swept
us through the individual stories. I suggested it needed to be irresistible and so it was.
Mike Kaiser Guild of Drama Adjudicators
Granny and the Wolf (2009)
A lively and inventive production based on a bright idea. Excellent comedy ... Red was
played with great gusto and a beaming sunny smile, and her disposal of the wolves in the
woods was a comedy highspot! The production was clearly envisaged in “cartoon” style and
it enabled the youthful cast to show is their abilities in various forms of theatre.
Rex Walford: Guild of Adjudicators
Graham – World’s Fastest Blind Runner (2008)
Mark Wheeller’s passion for physical theatre was tested to the full in this production as he
wove the tale of his friend’s life and subsequent death through a monochrome ensemble
kitted out with nothing but a couple of buckets full of white-washed broom handles and a
string of pearls. The cast created a rich stage poetry that was as near to magical illusion as
is possible without the help of smoke and mirrors.
Paul Mills Head of Drama Westgate School, Winchester
Sequinned Suits and Platform Boots (2006)
Its focus is the Glam Rock era of British pop music, and I'm afraid to admit it is a period of
time I remember only too well. This is a feel good production from start to finish, the young
cast obviously are enjoying this production, as much as their audience, their enthusiasm is
almost tangible while performing. I can recommend this as one of the best ways to spend an
hour during the late afternoon.
One4Review.com – Edinburgh Festival.
The Most Absurd Xmas Promenade Musical in the World... Ever (2005)
A crazy, quirky Christmas show from a group whose energy, flair and sheer ebullience
endear them to the audience.
Barbara Godwin
Missing Dan Nolan (2003)
I have long been an admirer of Mark Wheeller’s issue-led plays… there is an immediacy and
theatrical brio about his writing that gives his subjects an instant efficacy. I know of no other
playwright in Britain working in this way, addressing important issues in a manner that is so
immediately relevant and accessible to both cast members and audience. Heart-rending
bold, direct and simple… even on the bare page this is a powerful piece of drama. This is
more than documentary drama – it is also campaigning theatre at its most powerful. If
anything positive can be said to have come out of the awful tragedy of Dan Nolan’s
disappearance and death, then the knowledge that this play should serve as a lasting, and
fitting memorial to Dan.
I liked and admired much about this inventive, imaginative production – this is a director with
great vision and marvellous control of pace and mood. The swift transformation from
schoolboy roustabout to the poignant scene in which Sarah says the goodbye in her mind
that she was denied in reality, was a great example. I loved the way in which you developed
a sort of choral punctuation with two or more actors emphasising a word or phrase, and the
way in which this was echoed by a very different sort of punctuation from the two on-stage
drummers. Fabulous physicality… immaculate teamwork… exemplary.
The individual performances were first class and the sort of teamwork that one always hopes
for in youth theatre groups but one sees all too rarely. It showed the same flair, imagination
and rigorous discipline as the writing!
Very Well Done OYT, deserved winners of the Youth Award.
Paul Fowler GODA (Adjudicator at The Woking Drama Festival 2003)
Chunnel of Love (1993)
"French with tears ... the bi-lingual elements give this play an added dimension ... the context
and the action means that no-one loses the thread of the story."
Sue Wilkinson - Southern Evening Echo
Lethal In The Box (1991)
A real ensemble piece performed with deafening noise, high energy, unpretentious talent,
dance and mime and captures the mood of football terraces everywhere. OYT has produced
a winner which could hold it’s own on any professional stage.
Sue Wilkinson - Southern Evening Echo
The ensemble work by this Southampton group ios immaculate and the way in which music,
dance, mime and acting was brought together in the production was stunning. It was
imaginative, exciting, tuneful and very funny.
John Hart – Times Educational Supplement
Hard To Swallow (1989)
One of my visits with the National Theatre Assessors was to OYT in Southampton. In the
long and intensive rehearsal I watched Mark Wheeller was laconic in both praise and reproof,
but afterwards he spoke warmly about individual students. Some teachers use a special voice
when addressing young people, at once jolly and menacing – but there is no condescension
in Mark’s manner. Treating his performers as adults, and ensuring they have a part to play in
decision making pays dividends in performance. The play reaches moments of almost
unbearable emotional intensity. When the lights came up the assessors’ pens and notepads
lay idle on their laps. They sat pale, subdued and blinking rapidly.”
Vera Lustig – The Independant.
OYT’s Hard to Swallow should be compulsory viewing for anyone connected with the
education of teenagers."
Mick Martin - Times Educational Supplement