Saturday, 12 November 2011

"The Wild Bride"

Last evening I paid my first visit to the recently-reopened Cheltenham Everyman Theatre. In the auditorium, things look great: the original Frank Matcham decoration sparkles from loving refurbishment. The foyer by contrast looks dire, with its new 50s-style carpet. Whoever did they get to advise on this?

The Cornish-based (but internationally-constituted) touring company, Kneehigh took away all painful thoughts, however, with a brilliant new fairy-tale show, "The Wild Bride": I enjoyed it even more than their famous "Brief Encounter". The synopsis promised not nearly so much as the performance delivered, which was epic theatre, but on a boutique scale. A sextet of performers conjured up images which played upon all the emotions: at times, you couldn't believe how things could happily be resolved for this latter day Mother Courage; and all the while, she - there were three of them - and her trio of male accomplices animated, sang, danced, somersaulted and played a variety of instruments (Patrycja Kujawska's violin standing out). A tour de force, and how criminal that there were empty seats!

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