Volunteer writer, Natalie Doyle, shares her review on ‘Letters to Emma’ – the performance of the final year drama students here at Loughborough!
I was lucky enough to be invited to watch a preview show of the final year drama students’ performance of Letters to Emma, and I have A LOT to say.
The play is about two young women, Emma and Anna, and throughout the plot we are never sure who or what is real. The original text was written by Loughborough lecturer Dr. Carolyn Scott-Jeffs and was performed in 2017, but the new (and improved) version will be shown this Wednesday, Thursday, Friday on campus.
Now, for the review.
There are two casts for the performances. I saw the Thursday night cast, starring Maia Badenjiki and Tabitha Cuddeford. I have to say the quality of the acting is the best I’ve seen over my four years at Loughborough (which is saying something!). Maia, playing 18th Century poet Anna Seward, really captures the language of the time and the demeanor of the character she plays. Furthermore, that girl should be wearing period costume 24/7 as she looked so at home and so fierce in her yellow corseted gown. The standout performance was, however, Tabitha who plays 21st Century student Emma Dear. She is the star of the show, engaging deeply with some very distressing themes and creating a believable and emotive performance. Not only do both leads shine in their own right, they also have fantastic chemistry which is particularly poignant in the third act where the two characters engage in an emotional dialogue.
There are, of course, some less than perfect parts of the show, one of which is the theatre space itself. In the current heat wave, Martin Hall theatre is either incredibly hot or the fans are incredibly loud, however, this fortunately does not detract from the performance too much. I would sit in there several more times to watch the show.
Without giving away too many spoilers, the ending is truly heartbreaking but this is balanced well with genuinely laugh out loud moments, especially in the scene depicting Emma swiping on Tinder and coming across some interesting characters (some that resemble some individuals I personally have swiped LEFT on!). Other highlights for me included the use of the ensemble as internet trolls, and Adam Nasir’s hilarious embodiment of the English actor David Garrick.
It’s a must see, and if we here at Label gave out stars, I would give this 4.5/5.
Buy your tickets here: https://store.lboro.ac.uk/…/letters-to-emma-final-year…
Header image designed by Natalie Doyle.