Reviews from Press
Mwana – Tron & Traverse Theatres
The clash between both Mwana’s laid-back western, nightclubbing lifestyle and his parents’ traditional but social climbing attitudes is done without any didacticism; and the changes in Zimbabwe itself are beautifully personified by Nicola Gardner as Mwana’s class-concious mother. Gardner’s performance typifies the quality on offer throughout the cast. There have been deeper and more profound takes on the same subject but Ankur Productions‘ show is a timely and well crafted view of our cultural confusion in the age of globalisation. Neil McEwan, TV Bomb
Gladys ( Nicola Gardner ), Mwana's mother, stands out as a great character, adding comedy with her aping of posh English and also delivering a speech about how the men of her family have let her down. The posh English of Gladys contrasts well with Kirsten's Glaswegian accent and Mairi Philips gives a strong performance too, as the isolated white girl. Seth Ewin, British Theatre Guide.
In between the shorts, various members of the group did five-minute stand-up routines. The funniest moment of the night came with Nicola Gardner as Florence the Jamaican lesbian & her hilarious gag about self-love and phone sex. Susannah Wright, City Life.
Between plays, and to allow for the stage to be set up, there were stand-up comedy fillers, the highlight being Nicola Gardner who played Florence, a Jamaican woman who had left her husband to become a lesbian. Gardner had a positive rapport with the audience with a routine that had many riotous gags and produced a few belly laughs. Michelle Param, City Life
‘Nicola Gardner played the pivotal role of Lena Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ – An uninhibited performance!’ – Carl Palmer, Manchester Evening News.
William Shakespeare, Northern Broadsides
Gala Theatre, Durham, and touring
Review by Peter Lathan, British Theatre Guide
‘And there is not one Ariel but three, sometimes speaking and moving in chorus, sometimes individually, each with her (they are all female: Nicola Gardner, Simone Saunders and Belinda Everett) own characteristics but each complementing the others. It's an interesting idea and one which works well in a number of places, especially in the masque which Rutter retains but in a shortened form.’