Reality Rating: 3/5
Fidget Factor: 0.5
Multi-talented Masters of Multi-tasking
Thick as Thieves produce, stage manage, design and star as several roles in Shakespeare’s, The Tempest. This party of four have taken this often confusing play and span it into a whimsical, lighthearted comedy for both intimate lovers and avid cynics of Shakespeare. In this rambunctiously boisterous performance, a tale of mischief and magic is creatively conjured through cleverly imagined direction; initially spritzing the audience with water to set the island scene and later using coat hangers to create additional cast members. Brilliant.
Ariel Harrison’s characterisation of Gonzalo is genius, wise words delivered by a charismatic, endearing old man, lacking any element of pompous can only result in admiration from the audience – just what the role demands. Ariel also concocts a mystical creature through the use of a gents black venetian mask placed on the back of her head – performing back to front; this cast are always looking for innovative ways to show different roles.
Marcus Houden gives a convincing performance in his London theatre debut, performing a very natural Prospero; strong and expressive. Together Marcus Houden and Nicky Diss smash the comedy duo, Trinculo and Stephano, the perfect drunkards for a Shakespearian tale. Thomas Judd gives Ferdinand a delightful balance between the romantic and the fool.
Thick as Thieves aren’t afraid to commit themselves to the initial reaction of reading shakespeare, rather than trying to make sense of illogical lines, they mock and jest – adding a kindness to the language which the audience appreciate.
Audience participation is not my all time favourite activity, somehow I always seem to attract attention and become the target of the actors playful affair. However, in the intimate space of the Hope Theatre I can understand Nicky Diss’ decision to break the barrier and pull the audience in to the story.
Imagination runs wild in this version of The Tempest, I’m excited to see what this company will produce next.
Time: 90 minutes straight through
Running: 30 JUN 15 ► 18 JUL 15