FUENTE OVEJUNA AT SOUTHWARK PLAYHOUSE:
Time Out (Critic's Choice) **** :
Springs in a heartbeat, from knowing, tongue-in-cheek theatrics and broad belly laughs to knuckle-gnawing tension and gut-wrenching brutality..; Audacious work, delivered with aplomb.
British Theatre Guide :
Ferdinand and Isabella (a good comic double act), marvelously entertaining.
ARDEN OF FAVERSHAM at ROSE THEATRE, BANKSIDE:
British Theatre Guide:
Alice Arden, excellently played by Rachel Dale. Unencumbered by the excesses of period costuming, but still evoking the Elizabethan gentlewoman in her closely-trussed corset, Dale heaves and sighs for her lover, Mosby, whilst plotting like a vixen her husband's demise. Dale's performance adds light and lustre to what all-too-easily could be a two-dimensional caricature.
Dale's Alice was stunning throughout. Always the centre of attention Dale imagined the impressive feat of juggling multiple plots and dynamics simultaneously, manipulating her co-conspirators and victims with equal skill. She found an enthusiasm in the ideas of murder which Dale restrained from boiling over into comic-book evil.
PUB QUIZ IS LIFE at HULL TRUCK THEATRE:
The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish):
The performances are uniformly delightful. Rachel Dale contends with the larger-than-life role of Baz, a dodgy-dealing Christian, with aplomb.
THE CARAVAN on tour:
***** Metro (for Theatre Royal, Bath):
This magnificent piece of documentary theatre...; frank, touching, ingenuous and, at times, funny.
THE CARAVAN ON NEWSNIGHT REVIEW:
Peter Whittle (journalist and documentary maker):
"The way theatre's got to go.."; "Performances were wonderful - skill of the great actors"
Marina Lewycka (novelist):
"Very moving, so engaging...; performances were very good"
THE CARAVAN AT THE ROYAL COURT:
The Guardian (Lyn Gardner):
..the acting is so good...These are the stories of very ordinary people trying to keep body and soul together in difficult circumstances.
There is particularly fine work from Rachel Dale, playing a whole range of stoically Blitz-spirited women who managed to carry on regardless.
Full credit to the five-strong cast, Sanchia McCormack and Rachel Dale especially, who are so versatile and convincing.
It's a novel staging, exquisitely performed.
Rachel Dale is excellent in three very different roles. This is a passionately portrayed, ingenious and thought-provoking theatrical experience. Naturalistic performances of the five-strong cast who never caricature or patronize.
I was totally transported out of my own life and into the lives of the witnesses. Please keep me informed of future productions, as such heart-felt innovation shouldn't be missed. I would also like to pass on my appreciation to the actors. I lost all sight of their technique and saw only the people they were representing.
THE CARAVAN (FRINGE FIRST, EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 2008):
Performances are uniformly excellent, bringing to life the colourful interviewees in a way that sends shivers down your spine. Fun, eye-opening theatre that's an absolute must-see.
Chameleonic performances which cannot fail to impress upon an audience the human faces of the flood victims. There is no room for criticism of the naturalistic flair of any of these performances, though particularly impressive was Rachel Dale. This production is flawless and fascinating.
A superb cast of four. You might well forget you're watching a piece of theatre, so unfalteringly realistic are the extracts performed. The actors' performances are breathtakingly impressive. Meticulously reproducing every 'um', 'err' and stutter of their interviewees' language, the four, who appear alone or in pairs, give a master class in naturalism. The tales are sometimes tragic, at others heartwarming, and often surprisingly amusing; The Caravan is observational theatre at its best.
**** The Scotsman Joyce Macmillan:
The four actors are superb, and the material brilliantly chosen to demonstrate the range of people whose lives were devastated by these floods.
View from The Stalls:
The Caravan shows what can be done simply, with good acting, writing and direction. In a well-crafted piece of verbatim theatre. Molly Taylor, Davies Palmer, Brett Sadie and Rachel Dale produce some impressive acting as they switch between multiple people who were affected to different extents and in different ways by the floods of Summer 2007.
A thoroughly thought provoking and captivating production.
The performances are beautifully understated, subtly capturing the humour and personalities of the different speakers. Look Left Look Right create a documentary piece that draws you into people's lives, showing their dignity and resilience with great respect and skill.
The Telegraph - Dominic Cavendish:
There's a wonderful stoical softness to the victims' remarks, which often tips into quiet comedy: "Now we've got a litter-bin at every bus-stop," says one woman, groping for positives. It's almost the kind of thing you feel Alan Bennett would have enjoyed compiling, if he had ever turned investigative journalist.
The Guardian - Maxie Szalwinska:
Earnest, engaging and often a ticklish pleasure
British Theatre Guide :
The actors, are each versatile and effective. This is a uniquely intimate experience that brings home these stories in a way that no dozen TV documentaries could hope to match.
'The Caravan' makes small beautiful. It's bursting with warmth, charm and honesty. The script is drawn from interviews with those who lost their homes in the flood plains of Oxfordshire, the Severn and the Humber. The four-strong cast play many parts, pitching their performances very nicely between the demands of drama and honesty. Being squashed up next to them is fun - but it's easy to see how a year living in such proximity would be suffocatingly intimate. All in all, as homely and refreshing as the honest cuppa you'll be offered on entry.
Scotland on Sunday:
Takes a lingering hold on the imagination. There is the novelty value of seeing a show in a caravan, of course, but what you remember are the ordinary tales of displacement faithfully reproduced by the company from interviews with people who were forced out of their homes by last year's floods in England. Rather, it shows us ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and gains a quiet power through its restraint.
Northampton Chronicle and Echo:
It was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable pieces of drama I have ever seen, and should not be missed.
There are lives laid bare here. Not the lives of the rich and famous, or lives torn apart by war or pestilence, but the lives of those ordinary Britons who queue behind you in the supermarket, and sit beside you on the train. And the essence of their drama is peculiarly British - rain. This is a beautifully-presented piece of work, the very ordinariness of the characters giving it a resonance that will remain with you long after you emerge into the sunlight.
CAN YOU SEE ME YET?:
Standout performances came from Sophie Walton and Rachel Dale who both portrayed young girls in Cassandra's memory and then women who escape the reality of their insanity by behaving like young children. Walton and Dale balance this with precision. The innocence and joyous nature their characters tout still has an underlying feeling of despondency, ensuring we do not forget the reason they are in the asylum in the first place, but still have the opportunity to be carried away by the story.
Fringe Review *****
Rachel Dale is a boisterous Maudie/patient, carrying off the intonations and gestures of a defiant child (as 10-year-old Maudie) convincingly. In blonde pigtails and pink-and-green checked shift dress, Rachel Dale endears as Franklyn's mischievous younger sister, teasing and being teased in equal measure, though there are flashes of a bullying mentality.
Fringe Report *****
The strongest of storylines revolves around Eastern European teacher Lena who has been forced into prostitution after being trafficked to the UK in search of a better life. Special mention must go to Rachel Dale as the unfortunate Lena, whose pit of despair is almost tangible.
Hull Daily Mail
Lena - portrayed fearlessly by Rachel Dale...
This is Ull.com
ONCE A LADY:
Rachel Dale truly became Charlotte portraying her spirit and determination, and her humour which survived despite a lifelong struggle. The audience were captivated by this amazing woman and her story, and the performance received rapturous applause.
Their (Blaize Company's) performance warmed the audience like a summer smile, bringing the best of rural touring to an appreciative crowd. Charlotte Deans' story is both inspiring and chilling, and no less than heroic.
Cumberland and Westmorland Herald
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (NORTHERN STAGE):
Rachel Dale as Biddy, Pip's first romantic interest is particularly good, and brings a yearning and stoicism to the role that particularly holds your attention...attractive, intelligent, charming, witty.
UK Theatre Network
Literary theatre of a superior cut, chillingly beautiful.
This is a pleasure to watch an ensemble company well acquainted with the varied challenges of physical theatre, work together seamlessly to produce a unified production which oozes class. It's rare to get an opportunity to see a production this visually stunning and intensely performed - don't miss it.
The Argus, Brighton
What's On in London
...it's a splendid ensemble staging...with a twelve-strong cast equally matched, play the piece with infectious, roistering energy. ****
The Islington Gazette
...if restoration is your cup of tea, the Courtyard Theatre is a good venue to see this excellent production. Highly recommended.
an engaging production"...with "many charismatic performances