by Little Bulb Theatre.
Lavender Hill SW11 5TN To 11 May 2013.
Tue-Sat 7.30 pm Mat Sat 2.30 pm.
Runs 2hr 20min One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7223 2223.
Review: Francis Grin 18 April.
Refreshingly comic production, theatre taking a moment to laugh at itself.
The audience enter the main space in Battersea Arts Centre, a beautiful theatre, draped with deep red curtains and a large stage that screams of grandeur. In this space we’d expect something like a three hour Shakespeare production.
Yet, Little Bulb Theatre expertly subverts our expectations through their exploration of Orpheus, a man who travels all the way to hell to find his wife (and subsequently, lose her again). This story might sound depressing, but Little Bulb’s production is far from that, as this highly satirical production demands laughter from beginning to end.
The show kicks off with an introduction from our two main performers. Dominic Conway takes on the role of Django Reinhardt (back from the dead for one last set) and Orpheus, while Eugenie Pastor plays both quirky French hostess Yvette Pepin and Eurydice. This is a play within a play and our hostess Yvette introduces the story as it unfolds. Yet before the show can begin, Django Reinhardt graces the stage with (what is actually) a very good guitar solo.
Still better than the music itself is Reinhardt’s stone cold expression of pride as he glares at the audience. The look says it all, a subtlety which Conway effortlessly pulls-off throughout the show. Pastor is equally enjoyable to watch, as she occasionally picks up the flute and plays with an utter expression of diligence on her face. This is the prelude of what’s to come, in a world which refreshingly refuses to take itself seriously.
This humour continues into the set as designer Mary Drummond creates some hilariously ‘try-hard’ props for Orpheus which purposely fall very short of the mark. From the over-sized snake which bites Eurydice to the recreation of Paris (with baguettes, Eiffel Tower and abundance of barrettes), Drummond effectively pushes the boundaries of this absurd space.
It would be extremely difficult to not enjoy this production. Even those who aren’t theatre fans can t pass the time with a glass of wine, some cheese and listen to the wonderful score from pianist Charlie Penn and the vocals of ‘The Triplettes de L’Antiquite’. Overall, a charming trip to Battersea.
Eugenie Pastor: Yvette Pepin/Eurydice.
Dominic Conway: Django Reinhardt/Orpheus.
Mariam Gould, Charlie Penn, Tom Penn, Clare Beresford, Alexander Scott, Shamira Turner.
Director: Alexander Scott.
Designer: Mary Drummond.
Lighting: Phil Bentley.
Sound: Ed Clark.
Musical Director: Dominic Conway.