Black Dog Emporium

A darkly comic interweaving of relationships, past and present with a hint of the surreal. If you enjoy a plot line with twists and turns, this will make for an interesting and enjoyable night out.

it’s a well written and interesting idea. There were plenty of laughs as well as some poignant moments

The story begins simply enough as Black Dog (a.k.a) Richard; (Clive Bowman) and his young assistant Sam (Alex Louise) are in the final stages of clearing out a house. It seems that Richard can hear and see the recently deceased and a conversation springs up between him and the previous owner, Shakespearian actress Miranda (Judith Greenfield). As work on clearing the house progresses, so do the relationships. Miranda is having a troubled time in the after-life and as her past is revealed it seems that a missed opportunity in her younger days has been plaguing her. A third relationship is woven into the plot as Richard’s ex wife, the sultry Chrissy (Anne Bowen) visits the scene and eventually reveals a dark secret from their shared past.

Clive Bowman as Richard, who is on stage constantly, provides the backbone of the piece with an assured performance and is well supported by Alex Louise, whose character gains confidence as the story unfolds and makes their growing relationship credible. Judith Greenfield performs a difficult task adequately, moving from disembodied to full view, quoting lines from Romeo and Juliet into her eventual release to the afterlife. Anne Bowen as Chrissy also brings a convincing sensuality to her role.

The length of the play (one hour) doesn’t give enough time for the characters to become three dimensional, or for the relationships to make sense in relation to one other. Despite this, it’s a well written and interesting idea. There were plenty of laughs as well as some poignant moments, but I was left with the feeling that this is a work in progress and could develop much further.

With other performances planned in festivals elsewhere there is time for this piece to develop; gain in confidence and evolve into an interesting and assured piece of theatre.

Reviews by Adrienne Thomas

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The Blurb

Some things exist out of time and space, inhabiting a magical plane. Perhaps the explanation for the charmless and elusive proprietor who deals with the mess that living creates. A comedic tale of missed kisses, drunken dreams and catalystic moments.

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