Scaramouche Jones or The Seven White Masks


PLAY REVIEW


Scaramouche Jones or The Seven White Masks

Streaming Online


“For a script about a clown there is a distinct lack of fun”






Scaramouche Jones is a clown. He’s 100-years-old and has a need to tell his life story - which he has split into seven parts. Although it is never made clear why he speaks to us or, for that matter, why he is recording it on numerous cameras, Justin Butcher’s script takes us through a century of events which, implausible or not, go some way to explain the man before us.


Shane Richie revels in the part - ninety minutes of performance that would be a challenge for any actor. Playing all the parts, including an array of tremendous accents, Richie proves he is a deep and thoughtful performer with Scaramouche being as rounded as any Shakespearean role. Except in one aspect: humour.



Surprisingly for a script about a clown there is a distinct lack of fun and joy from Scaramouche. It is, instead, a dark play. It resides in the shadows and gives Richie little opportunity to make us laugh. Rather, we have to take his word for it that he is a clown at all. If I’m not convinced that he is a clown, can I really believe his incredible story?



The design is simple and affecting - a subterranean world that is both a dressing room and rehearsal room. It feels cold, damp and lonely down here. It is a place where the imagination can run free, untouched by the real world upstairs and outside. So, again, can I really believe Scaramouche’s incredible story?



Co-produced by Ginger Quiff Media, this follows on from last year’s play Rose starring Maureen Lipman. Rose managed a life story that had its fair share of light and shade in the telling, something lacking in Scaramouche Jones. Directed by Ian Talbot, Shane Richie is as interesting as he can be with a script stuck in one gear and it being a virtual experience. Because, let us never forget, this beast of a play would be very different if Richie could bounce off a live and appreciative audience.







Photography Bonnie Britain

Producers Thomas Hopkins & Michael Quinn for Ginger Quiff Media, Amy Hart,

Guy Chapman and Bailey Harris-Kelly with Stream.Theatre

Director Ian Talbot

Writer Justin Butcher

Production Designer Andrew Exeter

Tickets Tickets are £15 per stream (plus booking fee) and can be purchased

online at www.stream.theatre

Performances Streamed until Sunday 11th April 2021

Running Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Twitter @Gingerqmedia, @realshanerichie, @stream_theatre

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