Bristol Old Vic
I saw this Kneehigh Theatre production back in 2005 at Warwick Arts Centre – brilliant both then and now. Notionally a tragedy, but framed by the device of being played within ‘The Club Unloved’. The players and musicians all played members of this club at times dressed in kagouls, glasses and balaclavas.
The play is partially in verse, includes a fantastic stage set, top-notch musicians up in a ‘Crows Nest’, dancing and much more.
Apart from the excellent leads playing the lovers, the Cornish King Mark and his sidekick (a brilliant Kyle Lima as Frocil), the show was nearly stolen by a pantomime dame-like Brangian (Yseult’s Irish maid). The show does break the ‘4th wall’ in many respects and there is some audience participation, but no-one is shamed or embarrassed – some balloons were involved.
Uplifting, zany and energetic – the show throughly deserved its standing ovation. Anything that has the cast dancing and mugging furiously to ‘Get Lucky’ has my vote. You even get serenaded by band and cast members during the interval (‘Only The Lonely’ being one selection).
A mixture of ages. Unfortunately, the people behind us had brought a couple of young teens who were wont to snigger at some of the sexual/erotic parts of the production. Also a young boy and a baby(!) somewhere. I know it was a matinee, but the theatre listing did suggest over-16. Very responsive to cast/open-minded crowd.
It made me think..
What a high quality of theatre we have in this country – players who can also sing, dance and play instruments at a fantastic level. it is a pity this is probably the last tour for this show.