The CPT Company, A Double Bill: So Long Sugarplum & The Monkey's Paw

Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

Under the artistic directorship of Olivia Jacobs, Camden People’s Theatre (CPT) – surely London’s most overlooked central fringe theatre venue – has undergone something of a makeover during the last year. This tiny, poorly subsidised, converted pub on the noisy intersection of Hampstead Road and Drummond Street now looks less like a down-at-heel community centre and more like a venue that in time might come to rival London’s leading fringe theatres. This is particularly encouraging because, like BAC and the Lion & Unicorn before it, CPT is dedicated to producing and promoting physical and visual performance.

Central to CPT’s calendar is its annual Sprint festival, a showcase of performances from emerging companies, many comprising recent Desmond Jones and Philippe Gaulier graduates. CPT’s own resident company, which this year presented a double bill of short plays (So Long Sugerplum by James Snodgrass and The Monkey’s Paw by W W Jacobs), exemplifies the high level of professional skill that typifies so much of the work the venue programmes. Both pieces, though slight and somewhat ephemeral in nature, provided excellent platforms to showcase the collective talents of their respective casts. Director Lynne Kendrick fashioned a charming theatrical jewel from James Snodgrass’ Tale of Everyday Fairies (So Long Sugerplum). With a lightness of touch and uncanny ability to create something out of nothing, Kendrick drew beautiful performances from Pilar Orti, the effete fairy princess, and her comedy handmaiden, Hilda Gardner.

The Monkey’s Paw, the second of the evening’s short plays, proffered the perfect antidote to the sugary aftertaste of So Long Sugarplum. Director Olivia Jacobs coaxed a brilliant display of Berkoff-style ensemble playing from a skilled cast, to pull off this classic melodramatic romp. Sparkling performances from Shaun Glanville, Toby Hughes, Patrick McGinely and Benedicte Selerup helped to make this inconsequential gothic ghost story hugely entertaining.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 28