And the Horse You Rode in On (Newcastle)
Told by and Idiot and the Theatre Royal Plymouth have combined to tell a tale of mystery, suspense and revolution, all with an archaic and comedic narrative.
The play begins with the very familiar theme music and then vision of the master of suspense, Hitchcock and quickly dissolves into the set and homeliness of the cast of British sitcom “Are You Being Served”. The multi-talented cast Annie Fitzmaurice, Bettrys Jones, Martin Hyder, Jane Guernier and Nick Haverson swap roles and personas as quickly as they change their voices and costumes. The mime sequences, put me in mind of one of those brilliant radio comedies from the cast of Round the Horne, silly and yet utterly believable.
On a darker note the play and its humour has a sting in the tale and a scene with a dog and a petrol canister was theatre of cruelty at its best, shocking to a very “British middle class” audience who, we were led to believe, we were.
The narrative of the play, well, I tried to find it throughout the evening, although with so many threads and ideas being thrown at you, I found myself losing the battle. So I was very glad that the cast tied up the threads in a kind of dénouement, I would need to see it again to fully understand it.
But with a truly brilliant cast and some of the most comedic and inventive theatricality on stage, I think it would be no hardship at all.