It also boasts a brilliant central performance from Kate Sawyer as Joan.
"It is Sawyer’s Joan that makes this play: alternately full of the rage and fire of God and possessed of a serene, otherworldly rage, she runs the full gamut of emotions with aplomb."
"Sawyer is often tight-lipped and soft spoken in her portrayal of Joan's gritty determination, mystic other-wordliness and rather modern refusal to have anything to do with male suitors – in many ways it's a feminist play. At other times Sawyer's eyes glitter and her voice thickens menacingly. It's an outstanding performance."
"Sawyer over-spilled with emotional integrity and the latter scenes when her femininity and innocence begin to re-emerge, the humanity of her character drew you in.
"Kate Sawyer’s Joan is both an eerie symbol of implacabilityand a graphic illustration of the psychological strain of having to suppress the human for the heavenly."
"Kate Sawyer’s chain-smoking track-suit wearing nurse is a comic high point"
"The most notable performance is Kate Sawyer as the nurse. Her TOWIE-esque portrayal of this pivotal character is a joy to behold."
"The nurse is portrayed, pretty perfectly, by Kate Sawyer: a rough diamond, a tracksuited cockney with fingers over-ringed, she is feisty and caring in equal measure."
"an expressively physical performance from Sawyer and she fully delivers, vividly entertaining that blooms beautifully"
"An expressively physical performance from Sawyer and she fully delivers, vividly entertaining but with a tragicomic note that blooms beautifully later on"
"Kate Sawyer is very moving as Jocasta"
"Kate Sawyer vividly charts Gertrude's tormented unravelling"
"Kate Sawyer does brittle dignity ‘to the manner born' and develops Gertrude into a pitiful tragic figure especially in the closet scene"
“The actors also play together as a team…Kate Sawyer's Elizabeth nicely blends vulnerability and imperial hauteur, but is not allowed to outshine the other performers.”
“In particular, Kate Sawyer and Derval Mellett - as the sparring English and Scottish queens - showcase their awesome abilities to flip from tear-streaked to violently vengeful in a millisecond, while the male members of the cast make this truly an ensemble”
MARY STUART- The Stage 2012
“Elizabeth (angst-ridden and Sloaney in Kate Sawyer's fine portrayal) is marooned within the aching isolation of monarchy and within an intrigue-ridden court where it would be insane to risk trust let alone love. “
“Kate Sawyer steals the show becoming everything that Helena can and should be- from stroppy & pouting to amourous & hysterical”
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM- Ellie Buchdahl- South London Press****
“Acting honours go to Kate Sawyer as mad-for-it Lady Milford.”
INTRIGUE/LOVE- The Wharf- 2010 ****
“Kate Sawyer is angst-ridden as the virgin queen”
“Ariel played by Kate Sawyer, gives a strong performance as an imprisoned spirit. Throughout the play she maintains a tense, erect posture, accentuated by her black corset, tights and heels. Her arms are steadily held, unnaturally apart from her body as if there is a ring around her stopping them from touching her sides. Her delivery is faultless and her presence in itself almost makes you hold your breath as she manages to sustain such a rigid position.”
THE TEMPEST- James Buxton- Extra!Extra! 2010 ****
“Kate Sawyer, having been ever so slightly Beverley-from-Abigail’s-Party, grows into a splendid psycho”
MR KOLPERT- Gary Naylor- Broadway World- 2012
“Of special note is Kate Sawyer's unfairly maligned Lady Milford, whose seduction scene with her new love Ferdinand (Cerith Flinn) is compelling”
INTRIGUE/LOVE – Anita Butler- British Theatre Guide 2010
“Kate Sawyer's tormented Helena is notable as she convincingly alternates comedy and pathos.”
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM-Sheila Cornelius- Remote Goat ****
“In this intimate space Sawyer does well, giving a measured and natural performance.”
MISS JULIE- David Richards- Fourthwall Magazine 2012 ***
“You can only admire the audacity of a man who woos a widow, (the fiery Kate Sawyer as Lady Anne), over her husband's corpse after arranging his murder.”
RICHARD III- Nina Romaine- Remote Goat 2008 ****
“Kate Sawyer as Leonardo's jilted wife has some powerful moments.”
BLOOD WEDDING- Partially Obstructed View 2013
“Sawyer is truly mesmeric as the Virgin Queen, balancing her regal poise and political savvy with emotionally charged outbursts that engender sympathy for her situation, despite her apparent coldness.”
Mary Stuart- Deborah Klayman- The Public Reviews- 2012 ****
“Mark Leipacher’s direction makes the point from the outset with the excellent Kate Sawyer as a not-so-dainty Ariel squeezed into a bondage-style basque and stiletto-heeled boots”
THE TEMPEST- The Stage- Barbara Lewis- 2010
“The major departure from the "norm" in this production is in its portrayal of Ariel, with Kate Sawyer strapped into a tight corset and locked in a rigid upright position throughout. It's a sharp contrast to the usual flighty spirit of the air presented, but in many ways makes more sense - it makes Ariel's frustration and longing to be free much more understandable to the audience. The downside is that some of the vitality of Ariel's language is lost along with the vitality of the character's movements, but the pay off comes at the moment of her release - a truly beautiful theatrical moment. If Sawyer's physical expressiveness is tightly curtailed, she is given full vocal rein: her rich, lovely alto is perfectly suited to Thomas Whitelaw's gorgeous score.”
THE TEMPEST- Remote Goat- Chris Sims 2010
“Kate Sawyer plays the “contemptuous sinner”, Lady Millford in a black and white, rose swirled dress clutching a riding stick. Her face, an overly painted combination of powdered white foundation and heavy red blusher, give the impression of a vain woman striving for her youthful looks. Sawyer gives a strong performance of the erratic Lady Millford, as she fluctuates between the haughty condescension of a sneering aristocrat and the cruel fury of a jealous succubus.”
INTRIGUE/LOVE – James Buxton- Extra!Extra! 2010 ****
“Kate Sawyer has great fun here too, letting go of Olivia's seemingly impenetrable grief in favour of giddy adulation-born glee.”
TWELFTH NIGHT- Melissa Poll- The British Theatre Guide 2009 ***
“Kate Sawyer did a very good job as Lady Milford–probably the most interesting character in the play.”
INTRIGUE/LOVE Notes of an Idealist- 2010
“Kate Sawyer's performance wipes the floor with her.”
INTRIGUE/LOVE- Partially Obstructed View- 2010 ***
“It is the most complex role, and handled more than well enough, by Kate Sawyer who gives the English Lady Milford – who’s somewhat better than she seems – appropriate moral purpose.”
INTRIGUE/LOVE- Timothy Ramsden- Reviewsgate- 2010
“Karl’s steadfast but fiery fiancé, Amalia, is played by a forthright Kate Sawyer”
THE ROBBERS- Elizabeth Davis- The Public Reviews- 2011 ****
“The acting is very sound throughout, with highlights in Kate Sawyer’s constantly-stressed teacher Olga.”
THREE SISTERS- Alice Longhurst- A Younger Theatre 2013
“Kate Sawyer put in a very strong performance as Amalia and even looked German to me, which is going beyond the call of duty. She was also very good in their version of Kabale und Liebe, and surely deserves to act in front of something more glamorous than black paint–and indeed to act fully clothed. There was a lovely recognition scene between her and Karl (played by Michael Lindall, though the programme said somebody else). At that stage, I rather feared a happy ending, but my anxieties were groundless….”
THE ROBBERS- Notes of an Idealist- 2011
"Hannah Douglas, Hasseb Malik, Sam Millard and Kate Sawyer make a marvellous quartet of muddled lovers and their falling out in the forest is a joyous knockabout"
A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM- Alan King- The Bristol Post- 2011
“Kate Sawyer as Elizabeth is a compelling mix of caution, confusion and rationality. There was a rawness to the acting and a general fearlessness.”
MARY STUART- Tobias Chapple- British Theatre Guide 2012 ****
“Kristin (Kate Sawyer), the faithful servant. Kirstin is well played out, turning every situation on its head, marking out unexpected turns and shifts as articulated in Strindberg's script”
MISS JULIE- British Theatre Guide- Diana Damian- British Theatre Guide 2010
“Kate Sawyer provides excellent support as the stoic, long-suffering Kristin.”
MISS JULIE- Helen Macdonald- What’s On Stage 2012 ****
“Strong support came from Kate Sawyer as Kristen, as well as the committed ensemble who didn’t miss a beat, clink or cough. A creatively staged and well produced play that hits all the right notes.”
MISS JULIE- Deboarah Klayman- The Public Reviews 2012 ****
“Kate Sawyer, as the long suffering fiancée, provides some ‘verismo’ light and shade as she refuses to be warped by the flesh-drunk couple. Having slept (the character, that is) through most of the frantic action she is able to judge the tone and scale of her contribution admirably.”
Miss Julie- Stephen Crowe- Exeunt 2012 ***
“The acting is impeccable, Kate Sawyer and Derval Mellett totally step up to the plate with blistering performances, following ably in the footsteps of Janet McTeer and Harriet Walter in the roles of Mary and Elizabeth. Their brief, fate-sealing meeting in the forest is totally believable and emotionally electrifying. But they also excel in the quieter moments of contemplation, of doubt, of anguish. This is an ensemble company though, and kudos must also go to the rest of the cast for not being overshadowed by the two Queens”
Mary Stuart- Carole Gordon- What’s On Stage 2012
“The pious Kristin (Kate Sawyer) as she cooked the kidney she plucked from her master’s veal. Her dour demeanour was a truer indication of what lay ahead.”
Miss Julie- Ryan Sullivan- A Younger Theatre 2012 ***
“Kristin’s Calvinism fits awkwardly with the modern, youthful feel of Mark Leipacher’s production, but Kate Sawyer ensures her relation with fellow-servant and prospective husband Jean is established in its own right before Julie enters, while her sourly gloating smile at outwitting the others is a secular match for Kristin’s religious strictness.”
Miss Julie- Timothy Ramsden- Reviewsgate 2012 ***
“Kate Sawyer as Olivia is so overtly physically sensual in the second act as to be beyond predatory – you could call it melodramatic, but done with such completely heartfelt intensity, it scarcely matters.”
Twelfth Night- Whats on Stage- 2009 ***
“Kate Sawyer gives a strong performance as Ariel. The idea of Prospero's servant having spirit form and able to take on any physical shape is given a sci-fi twist with Kate Sawyer as a Barbie-like robotic Ariel reminiscent of the Replicants in Blade Runner. This concept of the automaton servant having human emotions is reinforced when Prospero grants Ariel her freedom: not only does this moment express all the complexities of the servant-master relationship but there is almost a passion as he holds her in his arms and her empty body slumps as her spirit flees.”
The Tempest- Sandra Giorgetti- British Theatre Guide 2010 ****
“One long, delicious, unbroken spell, cast by Cary Crankson as Jean, Leonie Hill as Julie and Kate Sawyer as Kristin, with the Faction ensemble providing a brief onstage crowd invasion and the background offstage world of gossip and wagging tongues (created by a remarkable rumbling mumbling rhubarb of the highest order). With the audience close on three sides, within reaching distance of the servants’ plain wooden kitchen table, Kristin is at an imaginary stove stirring an imaginary stew with an imaginary spoon — but there’s nothing imaginary about the effects created.”
Miss Julie- Atomies- 2012 ****
“Performances are excellent across the board, but particularly worthy of mention is Kate Sawyer who delivers an extravagant and crowd-pleasing portrayal of Julia, the unfortunate object of Fiesco’s feigned love-interest.”
Fiesco- Helen Macdonald- What’s On Stage 2013 ****
“Kate Sawyer’s enigmatic Elizabeth fears showing womanly weakness while Derval Mellett’s passionate Mary demands to know how a council of men may be regarded as her peers, showing that despite their high status both feel judged by men. In spite of their similarities and commonalities their ill-fated meeting deteriorates into a slanging match between the “virgin” and the “whore”, and both are ultimately betrayed by men they have relied upon.”
Mary Stuart- Deborah Klayman- The Public Reviews- 2012 ****
“The Ariel of Kate Sawyer was clad in a black bustier, tight black trousers, and high-heeled shoes. The disco-style masque certainly added to the house-of-ill-repute atmosphere, and came off very well. This Ariel could definitely sing. The real relationship was between Prospero and Ariel”
The Tempest- Notes of an Idealist 2010
“Kate Sawyer as Elizabeth I is equally impressive: cooler, more logical and more indecisive about signing her cousin’s Mary’s death-warrant and setting up a precedent for regicide, she also does an excellent job of showing the righteous anger she feels against Mary. The penultimate scene where they meet in the grounds of the captive Mary’s castle is a powerful one, as the Queens are in conflict as much as women as representatives of their religions. Elizabeth knowing she can only be free of the threat of assassination attempts and religious civil war with Mary’s death.”
Mary Stuart- Onestop Arts- 2012 ***
“Kate Sawyer’s Elizabeth matches Mary well with an intelligent portrayal of a woman struggling with ideas of legitimacy, sovereignty and basic morality as a death warrant awaits her signature.”
Mary Stuart- There Ought to be Clowns- 2012
“Kate Sawyer’s hysterical psychoses play out convincingly. Damian Lynch presents a credible performance of an abusive architect always on the edge of collapse and violence.”
Mr Kolpert- Broadway Baby 2012
“Sawyer showed a real sense of loss and unbalance in Elizabeth as she propelled herself to sign her sister’s death warrant.”
Mary Stuart- A Younger Theatre 2012
“The anachronistic nature between modern props and their historical setting only adds to this, building to a beautiful ending tableau of Kate Sawyer's Elizabeth alone but for the all-too-clear memory of executed Mary.”
Mary Staurt- Melissa Rynn- Stage Won 2012
“Kate Sawyer is impressive as a confused Queen Elizabeth.”
Mary Staurt- Alice Anderson- Fourthwall Magazine 2012 ****
"Kate Sawyer is wholly believeable as Elizabeth in turmoil, her vanity and pride fighting for precedence over her less-violent impluses. The relationship between the rivals is lent the complexity and intensity it deservves through sympathetic portrayals of their characters"
MARY STUART- Vanessa Bunn- Extra!Extra! 2012
“Kate Sawyer's Thatcheresque Elizabeth on the other hand is under constant assault both from the various recommendations of her courtiers, who each has his own agenda, and from her own moral conflict surrounding her cousin and rival: She desperately wants Mary dead and gone, but to approve the execution would be regicide, a crime she fears having attached to her name forever. She's willing to go to pretty devious lengths to get what she wants without technically getting blood on her hands.”
Mary Stuart- Partially Obstructed View 2012
“Elizabeth, with a sparkling satin bustier and a jewel on a headband to hint at familiar portraits (a decade the elder in real life), is much more mature in manner. Kate Sawyer plays her with a clear delivery that reminded me of Margaret Thatcher, and she seemed equally determined: an experienced woman sure of herself and how to handle her ministers. Is it conscience or public image that most concerns her where Mary is concerned?”
Mary Staurt- Howard Loxton- British Theatre Guide 2012 ****
“It must be one of the few versions of Shakespeare's comedy of romantic yearning, gender confusion, madness and melancholy to include a scene of fugitive erotic ambiguity set in a sauna. Shai Matheson's uppish Orsino and his courtiers are not the only ones feeling the heat, in this relocated episode, as Kate Sawyer's disguised and mortified Viola takes orders from a new master who makes sure that he gives this clothed, uncomfortable "boy" a quick glimpse of the assets under his towel. His men look on, in part reprovingly, and, in part, what we'd call these days bi-curiously. “
TWELFTH NIGHT- Paul Taylor- The Independent ****
“Kate Sawyer’s sparky Julia, the niece of the Doge who Fiesco is resolved to seduce as part of the plan.”
Fiesco- There Ought to be Clowns 2012
“The cast are strong across the board, with particularly noteworthy performances from Kate Sawyer as Julia, Anna-Maria Nabirye as Hassan, and Richard Delaney in the title role.”
Fiesco- Deborah Klayman- The Public Reviews 2013
“That ennui is there from the moment the audience enters the theatre enhanced by Kate Sawyer’s Olga, a 29-year-old teacher pacing up and down correcting an exercise book.”
Three Sisters- Howard Loxton- British Theatre Guide- 2013 Previous post:
“Kate Sawyer, Derval Mellett and Elizabeth Twells make an appealing set of sisters.”
Three Sisters- There Ought to be Clowns- 2013
“Kate Sawyer makes a rather nicely understated Viola and appears as bemused and alarmed by Olivia’s advances towards her as by Aguecheek’s wobbly attempt to engage her in a duel. Lachlan McCall’s Feste brings a contemporary freshness to the play’s songs, plucking them out on his banjo.”
Twelfth Night- Natasha Tripney- Exuent 2012 ****
“It took me a few minutes to recognise Kate Sawyer’s portrayal of Sarah as an exaggeration of a social cliché. Once I’d grasped her character she is wonderfully flamboyant as the lady in red who finds being tied up and held hostage thoroughly titillating.”
Mr Kolpert- Gillian Fisher- Afridiziak 2012
“Kate Sawyer’s slightly more middle aged Sarah Kenner seems almost as charming and ordinary as her boyfriend Edward Fulton’s dreamy looking chaos researcher Ralf Droht, but by the end they have become so alarming and sinister because of that very ordinariness and the way they exist so comfortably in their well-mannered bourgeois household.”
Mr Kolpert- Steve Barfield- The Public Reviews 2012 *****
“The acting is solid. No single character behaves consistently; flashes of menace rise up and then recede as quickly as they came. Each actor has a full range of personalities running from smooth hospitality to bright-eyed aggression right up to pure, throat-gripping rage. Kate Sawyer – playing hostess and orchestrator of violence, Sarah Kenner – is particularly unsettling. She swoops about the stage in a blood-red dress, perches daintily on the offending chest, and smilingly encourages the other characters’ descent into madness.”
Mr Kolpert- Maia Jenkins- The Upcoming ****
“There are so many twists in the plot as things eventually go from bad to worse Edward Fulton and Kate Sawyer play well the jocular hosts and Laura Freeman and Damien Lynch are the visitors with David Eaton as the unfortunate pizza man.
MR KOLPERT- Aline Waites- Remote Goat 2012 ****