Review: And the Horse You Rode In On, Northern Stage, Newcastle

Told by an Idiot/Drum Theatre Plymouth' production of'AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON
Told by an Idiot/Drum Theatre Plymouth' production of'AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON
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WITH a title like this and the production company called Told By An Idiot you expect something a bit different and surreal.

There was some sort of a terrorist theme and anarchists were mentioned.

A family of acrobats (the Trampolini family), booked to perform at the 17th century French court of King Louis IV, were taken hostage and sang songs while a student set fire to her dog in the Grace Brothers department store, where the actors took off the characters from Are You Being Served while speaking German.

Taking in clandestine meetings at London Zoo, the whole shebang ended with a bomb blast in a cinema showing a Bugs Bunny film.

Trying to stay tuned was a struggle.

While producing a few titters early on, this brand of silly comedy runs out of steam after a while and 90 minutes without a break was a long while.

The script felt like it had been written by committee at a two-day workshop and it had a student fringe theatre style, except the actors were older and excellent.

Annie Fitzmaurice, Bettrys Jones, Martin Hyder, Jane Guernier and Nick Harverson delivered the material with aplomb, whether doing multiple characters, voiceovers or acting out animals at London Zoo.

Directors Paul Hunter and Hayley Carmichael did a top-notch job keeping the proceedings flowing.

The Grace Brothers set was good and the musical backdrop of the Rolling Stones’ Street Fighting Man was particularly welcome.