STAGE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
The classic, controversial play by David Mamet of a power struggle between a University student and her professor.
Full of tension and fascinating character revelation… Hastings is a marvelous Carol, a complex creation whose cause comes first, mercilessly turning the knife. Mamet’s coruscating play is in good hands here.
– Gerry Colgan, The Irish Times
Oleanna packs a powerful punch… Hastings is very good as the student, whose vulnerability draws out the professor, but whose agenda strangles him… both actors are understated and their performances have a cinematic intensity.
– Liam Heylin, Cork Echo
Hastings successfully negotiates the transition from a nervous, insecure student to a confident, articulate young woman.
– Sunday Tribune
THE NIGHT GARDEN
The world premiere of a new play set in Dublin during the week of the moon landing in 1969. It was developed by The Royal National Theatre Studio in London and staged at The Northcott Theatre, Exeter.
Lin Coghlan’s challenging play offers great scope for its actors… this world premiere is played out with raw and powerful emotion.
– Anne Broom, Western Morning News
It is a curiously affecting play which refuses to be dismissed from the memory… Eva Bartley and Amy-Joyce Hastings tenderly evoke the flowering of forbidden love in the shadow of violence.
– Richard Davies, Newton Abbot & Mid Devon Advertiser
The pick of the performances were very good. Amy-Joyce Hastings as Aisling’s worldly friend Maggie brought to the stage the palpable excitement of her stay in London.
– Herald Express, Exeter
There are some fine performances…Maggie (Amy-Joyce Hastings) has already tasted a new life in England and sees it as a new dawn.
– Express & Echo, Exeter
ICEBERG – RIGHT AHEAD!
The world premiere of a new 3 Act play commemorating the 100 year Anniversary of the Sinking of RMS Titanic. An Ovation Theatre production performed at the Gatehouse Theatre, Highgate, London.
Director John Plews allows his gifted ensemble the time to invest intimacy into their characters… Amy-Joyce Hastings is an assured, tricksy servant, while Jamie Partridge sparkles as a diamond-hungry womaniser… it’s a tribute at London’s highest theatre above sea level that you need to look out for.
– Jonathan Watson, The Stage
The play is simple and clever, built around the everyday interactions of a group of crew and a competing set of First Class passengers on the top deck… Funny? Very. There are many interesting scenes exploring sexual politics – men constantly using, or crossing the line with women. The cast is split between those that shine… Amy-Joyce Hastings is playfully knowing as thieving maid, Violet Jessop… an absorbing two hours of drama… a play that entertains, informs and intrigues. The ending is very poignant.
– Monkey Matters Theatre Reviews
Rip-roaring farce as well as a tale of thievery and female exploitation… Fleet’s exploitation of gullible First Class cabin maid Violet (Amy-Joyce Hastings)… The Titanic tragedy is a microcosm of class distinction and at times this script offers a moral message as clear cut as Oscar Wilde in his social satires and, like him, wraps much of it in humour… After the interval, the situation and the play become more serious as the characters take to the boats and the tragedy plays out… John Plews’s production manages the change of mood without flattening the strong character playing. And its very simple staging has a powerful effect… the hardworking cast do sterling work… peopled their play with characters whose parallel personal stories hold the interest irrespective of being on the Titanic… When the supposedly unsinkable ship hits the iceberg, the seriousness behind the humour becomes more poignant.
– Howard Loxton, British Theatre Guide
Some truly magnificent moments… fascinating and poignant… very effective… Credit definitely has to be given to the cast of nine who not only gave wonderful performances… This piece is certainly an example of ensemble acting at its best and to call this cast hardworking is an understatement… with scenes in the lifeboats being a glorious example of how brilliant fringe theatre really can be… the sheer intimacy achieved here… is beyond anything you could experience in commercial West End theatre and something truly magical… goes from strength to strength… bringing the production to a perfect end… as perfect an end that a play about the greatest maritime tragedy of all time can have.
– David Coverdale, Bargain Theatre
Amy-Joyce Hastings’ Violet was lively as the thieving servant in thrall to Fleet who managed to survive three nautical accidents.
– What’s On the Fringe
When the survivors take to the lifeboats, things come together nicely… it is very moving indeed. Things are helped by some fine performances… all the cast are good, and director John Plews has worked wonders with limited resources.
– Timothy Ramsden, Reviews Gate
Neatly evocative… a melodramatic semi-comedy, embroidering real characters… Stewardess Violet Jessop pilfers silverware and trinkets (theft onboard is supported by divers’ trophies, though not incriminating the real Jessop)… soberly fascinating, not unenjoyable though.
– Libby Purves, The Times
All the crowd-pleasing ingredients are there – writer Chris Burgess wisely homes in on a microcosm of social types from the crew and passengers… Fleet (Matthew Walker) is a Scouse chancer stringing along a devoted first-class stewardess Violet Jessop (Amy-Joyce Hastings) who nips around nicking valuables from the toffs at Fleet’s bidding… A night to remember.
– Michael Stewart, Morning Star
John Plews and his Ovation theatre company show considerable chutzpah in launching this new play by Chris Burgess following the real-life experiences of 9 passengers on the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage… The second act, showing the passengers’ desperate evacuation, is particularly effective: two lifeboats face the audience, enabling the actors to observe the sinking ship as if off-stage.
– Time Out
Clever writing brings new insight to the Titanic story. Chris Burgess’s script succeeds mainly by exploring real-life characters and highlighting the class and gender differences during the period. It is an involving story, directed by John Plews, and the performances are faultless.
– Ham & High
There is far more historical accuracy here than elsewhere. The characters aren’t dreamed up, they were real people on board the RMS Titanic back in 1912. There is some artistic licence, a storyline of the posh and the poor confusing themselves over love and wealth and all the things that divide them, which builds nicely… Given we all know what happens in the end – the boat sinks – there is a curiously chilling, prickles-on-the-neck ending.
– Camden New Journal
ORANGE FLOWER WATER
The first ever European production of Pulitzer Prize nominee Craig Wright’s dark & humorous relationship drama examining the devastating and often hilarious confrontations when the demons of extra marital sexual attraction occur. National Tour.
The acting is sensitive and apt… Hastings brings a likeable humanity and strength to the spurned Miss Perfect… including a lengthy, sad yet funny sex scene… An enjoyable, insightful production of a taut and tender play.
– The Metro
Real people grappling with their own weaknesses and moral confusions. Here Steve Gunn (David) and Amy-Joyce Hastings (Cathy) inhabit their roles with conviction, making it easy for the audience to connect with their dilemmas.
– Gerry Colgan, The Irish Times
The existentialist classic by Jean-Paul Sartre about two women and a man trapped in Hell together. AC Productions at Andrews Lane.
It works best as a showcase for their talents…three very different parts and all of them excellent! …Interesting and it stayed with me… there were laughs – you feel very good about life when you leave it.
– The View, RTE1
Sartre’s polemic is leavened by Ashmawy’s edgy performance and Hastings’ portrayal of airy desperation.
– Declan Burke, Sunday Times Culture Magazine
Amy-Joyce Hastings as Estelle is very successful.
– Alan O’Riordan, The Examiner
Premiere of the theatrical debut of award winning poet Noel Duffy, set in New Hampshire and tracing the fallout amongst friends & family after the death of a girl by heroin overdose.
A mesmeric, atmospheric work… Amy-Joyce Hastings (Lori) conjured up a magnificently captivating performance… Director Jessica Curtis has assembled a stellar creative team and elicits tender and affecting performances from the cast.
– Irish Theatre Magazine
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS
An adaptation for stage of the movie, Swimming With Sharks is a biting black comedy about the darker side of Hollywood.
The acting is strong and convincing, and Amy-Joyce Hastings and Eoghan McLaughlin do well in supporting roles.
– Gerry Colgan, The Irish Times
CHRISTIAN O’REILLY COMEDIES
A double-bill of two satirical, physical comedies by Christian O’Reilly, presented by Tyger Theatre Company, Galway.
To have faith restored in contemporary theatre is a wonderful way to leave a play… as the curtain falls the superb directing and energetic acting all linger for a long time afterwards… done with style, wit, panache and balance… Jessica Curtis, Deborah Wiseman, Amy-Joyce Hastings and Sean O’Meallaigh make up the ensemble… Combining movement and classical drama, the play also uses the pantomime method to great effect.
– Breda Shannon, Irish Examiner