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 butAnkur 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.
‘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.’