By Ralph Wainer
I was a happier man after seeing this show. It was truly an uplifting and joyful show to behold.
The actors were all suited to their parts, farcical, pompous, drunk, flirty, or just plain silly, each was invaluable to the performance, and all in all formed a solid team.
You could almost feel that everyone in this production had a great time and will definitely miss performing together in future.
Seldom do I see this type of play performed. An eighteenth Century Commedia dell’Arte (what a fancy word!), it is quite unlike any previous comedy you are likely to have seen and I thoroughly recommend a night at Hild Bede Theatre.
The mere choice to direct this particular play is in itself to be commended. It wouldn’t have been easy, but no doubt a lot of fun!
During a pleasantly long two hour performance I’ve witnessed seven or eight slaps on an actor’s posterior, two passionate kisses, tonnes of flirts, a poor girl being stuffed in a suitcase, and all this to the music of two guitars, percussion, and a keyboard. They even gave out little canapés at the beginning.
The actors performed in the middle of two rows of spectators and so after the interval I found a more convenient front seat where you are fantastically not a foot away from the action.
Josh Williams and Danielle Oliver performed perhaps the two most demanding roles with expert timing and rich acting.
Also, Matt Davey gave us a light, unpretentious performance as Truffaldino.
The complicated lines were expertly learnt and I can only recall two hiccups which were hardly noticeable.
The music was very befitting, though it would have been interesting to have a couple of distinct theme tunes for a select few characters.
Props and costumes were simple and chosen with good taste (whoever bought two bottles of Dow’s Master Blend Finest Reserve Port deserves a cookie).
A great performance! I really enjoyed the show!
Photograph: Hannah Brennan