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  • Writer's pictureAmrat

A review of the Bitesize Festival at Riverside Studios

The festival, which returned for its fourth incarnation from 29 January – 25 February 2024, offers emerging artists the chance to create, rehearse and produce their show in the iconic West London venue. In-house technical equipment, front-of-house and back-office services, and full-service marketing support is provided by Riverside Studios - giving creatives invaluable experience of producing a show to a professional standard.


Congratulations to all the award winners and those who took part of this great festival experience. I'm a little late to the party, but better late than never. Last month I was invited to review some shows during this festival, which I think is a great idea and opportunity for new and emerging talent to showcase their art and gain a unique learning experience.


I attended the following performances:


Dazzling - A year on from a depressive episode, Alix is full of the joys of life. But when they meet a beautiful stranger, dark inner conflicts resurface. Obsession, addiction and poetry are combined in this modern, queer tale of a descent into madness.


A young Caucasian female smiling in a messy room with a brown couch
Promotion image of 'Dazzling'

In Dazzling, Alix Addinall (Alix) effortlessly delivered quite a troubled character, proving it takes a lot of talent to deliver a one-person show. For me, the story is very Gen-Z, but still important, especially its exploration of mental health. The energy Alix brought to this character remained throughout the entire show, thanks to Alix's commitment and passion for the story. It seems that this show is aimed at a very specific audience, and those of the slightly older generation might easily turn away from it.


Bury Me - It's the day of her brother's funeral and all Nadia wants to do is get the day over with. Just one slight hitch: the body is nowhere to be found. 'Bury Me' is a one-act comedy-drama about weird family members, clerical errors, and the love we carry with us.


Image of a woman looking to her side with a orange fruit as a background
Promotion image of 'Bury Me'

Bury Me was everything you could hope for in a comedy-drama, a dark comedy. As the opening scene was a funeral, and I wondered how it could be funny, but I was impressed with how the cast delivered the awkwardness and reality of such tragic events, especially when the priest was interrupted about a car blocking the parking lot (which turned out to be his own car). The production was a little too long and it was hard to stay focused toward the end, but the cast was great and had very good stage presence. The sibling relationship between Gillian Konko (Nadia) and Peter Todd (Nadia's brother) seemed very genuine, which speaks to their great acting skills.


Overall, Riverside Studios is a perfect venue for this type of festival and I would encourage anyone interested in the arts to apply and participate. As much as a loved the Bitesize Festival and the shows I attended, it would be great to see a little more diversity in the stories and characters next year.


Venue:

Riverside Studios

101 Queen Caroline Street Hammersmith

London

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