Ian Houghton as the professor, engaged with the audience from the very start, his well-paced delivery, asides, and general rapport with the audience holding the attention throughout. The script is full of wit, encompassing many familiar situations encountered by couples and emphasising the different viewpoints that can be held by a man and a woman.
Houghton kept the audience involved all the way through the performance by regularly asking questions and reacting to comments from the audience. This relaxed approach helped the atmosphere in the audience from the very start and helped lead to a more talkative crowd than would normally be expected at the theatre. All of this is just what is required of course because the whole point of the work is to celebrate the differences between men and women and use them as a way to bring couples closer together and not to drive them apart.
An interesting and thought provoking show featuring a strong performance from Ian Houghton, helping to prove that it is possible to find common ground between men and women.
The Public Reviews – 2012
Director Paul Morton, in a beautifully co-ordinated and paced production abounding in sight gags and one-liners, had a formidable trio of actors to build with – their orchestrated fist fight was almost worth the price of the ticket on its own.
A well designed and dressed set helped create the pre 1939 atmosphere. Chris Janes played Fleming as an uptight man who, while acting out childbirth, was anxiously convinced he was about to direct a flop; while Hecht, the Chicago scriptwriter, was in the capable hands of Ray Newton. Both characters, however, were written in two dimensions and foils for the development of David O Selznick. In this Ian Houghton, I suspect, gave the performance of his life – he was not acting Selznick, he was Selznick. This was a 3D characterization, which certainly did not detract from the ensemble work with the others.
Hertford Mercury - 2011
The cast are solid with stand out performances from Simon Dawen as the police officer torn between his siblings, his partner and his work and Josua Jenkins playing the younger brother Tony, caught in a tornado of political crossfire, sibling rivalry and just trying to live his life. The actors all give their all to this very physical, exhausting piece of theatre. Moments of excellent comedy come from a very well cast Ian Houghton playing The Super.
Fringe Review – 2011
The cast seem too young, ironic considering the age that they are meant to be playing. A group of 16 year old, pubescent youths, searching for their understanding of sexuality, you need people to look the age, but you also need people who can gel into the role. For me, it was the older, more professionally trained actors, playing the older roles that supported this show. Notable praise for Jodyanne Richardson and Ian Houghton as the parents, who gave the show the added life it needed.
Young Theatre Online Review - 2009
Gagarin Way was Gregory Burke's first stage play. It is a highly political piece but, fortunately, it succeeds dramatically by not trying to take sides or deliver dogma. What's more, he has not created cut-out characters. They are more complex than that; they each have life in them, played here to the hilt.
Ian Houghton gave a truly mesmerising performance as Eddie, a low-class thug who has always been interested in violence in a role that combined wicked humour with a crazed imagination.
Into this chaotic small town comes the spendthrift, boastful clerk, Khlestakov, who was brilliantly acted by Ian Houghton. The peak of his performance was perhaps the scene where, having been mistaken for the Government Inspector, he is swept up from his slummy room at the Inn, taken to the Governors house and plied with copious amounts of wine.
This was the most extraordinary display of the gradual onset of drunkenness that I think I have ever seen on stage, and all in the course of a hugely long and funny speech. Ian Houghton's reactions to the luridly dressed Anna and Maria were marvellous. Barely coherent, Khlestakov was drawn to their ample cleavages in turn and everyone revelled in it, as they did his later opportunistic passes at both women and his Elvis Presley- style serenade.
From the very beginning Ian Houghton took command of this production; he was utterly convincing as a disillusioned school teacher, a husband who ranked only slightly higher than the hamster in his wife's view of things and a father who was struggling to accept a life dominated by a daughter who could never respond to his love. The role of Brian is a very demanding one and Ian Houghton certainly had the ability to fulfil it, with a range of accents and impersonations of which any actor would be proud. He retained the sympathy of the audience throughout the black humour the role required and the abandonment of his wife and daughter at the end of the play was deeply moving.
Hal was played by Ian Houghton in a delightfully understated, apologetic manner, full of humour.
Sidney Hopcroft is the Christmas party companion from hell. With his ingratiating manner, irritating laugh and misplaced humour, he's the last person one would want to meet over the drinks trolley. But Sidney is the pivotal character in Alan Ayckbourn's superb comedy Absurd Person Singular, and is the man to watch when the action unfolds.
As the upwardly mobile Sidney, Ian Houghton gave a barnstorming performance, wringing every last nuance of irritation from the character with energy and skill. With his bristling moustache, whining estuary accent and grating bonhomie, he ensured that the character initially appeared to be a figure of fun, but also succeeded in proving there's much more to Sidney than meets the eye.
Ian Houghton put in a magnificent performance as the domineering Jack Manningham, whose attentiveness to his wife has a sinister edge, looming over her as he talks down to her like a child. His obsessive traits are hinted at by his pride in his appearance, fiddling with his tie and frequent glances at himself in the mirror.
Ian Houghton actually plays three parts. He is Frank, a charmer, turning up at the Thackley Fair, turning ladies' heads and masquerading as Fabrizio, an itinerant photographer from Skipton via Verona. In the current context he is Matt, Alex's stud. If Fabrizio really captures the imagination, pseudo accent, oiliness and all, Ian's interpretation of the 'bit of rough' City futures dealer is equally convincing.
Matt striking Clootie to the floor was one of the most successful and realistic blows I've seen (and heard!) on the stage. Very hard to do convincingly that.
The outstanding performance of the evening was surely from Ian Houghton, whose increasingly Machiavellian Brother Martin was played with impeccable comic timing, his 'pythonesque' delivery becoming more and more manic and evil as the play progressed.
Adam, on the other hand, had clearly worked it all out. A lucrative job out West would enable him to relight the blue touchpaper. He was frank in that he saw the chance for successful dalliance, yet as truth emerged he took a gamble to convince Lindy to remake her life with him.
Ian Houghton's interpretation of this part was nigh on flawless. The gentle pace of the opening exchanges revealed doubts about the underlying wisdom of the encounter. Intensity increased as the stakes got higher and yet all the time Ian revealed glimpses of the calmness and precision of a successful career in a well-ordered life.
The man tasked with cooking and serving the officers meals is the self-effacing Private Mason. What a talented actor Ian Houghton is, adding another classic character to his varied roll call: here he had the perfect, deadpan London manner and accent, serving the most atrocious food and bringing a delightful humour to the dugout.