Thursday, 3 March 2011

Very Good Times

Well I can thoroughly say that the entire audience loved last nights performance of Very Hard Times by Publick Transport. Having met Angus Barr (PT's Artistic Director) through performances with Gonzo Moose, we immediately booked their first show, 20,000 Leagues Under the Office, and haven't looked back. This show was the best yet.

It started with Angus coming on to introduce himself as the director and lead actor, explaining that he found Dicken's original 'Hard Times' in a library. After being turned down by larger theatres he has decided to tour the show himself with minimal set, rehearsal time and casting. Angus then asked the audience to bear with them as they were still ironing out some creases... Then, with more current government issue references than an episode of 'Have I Got News For You', the three try to tell the original story of a down and out couple struggling to survive.

Performing as his alter-ego, Angus was constantly directing and correcting Wayne and Philippa throughout the show and being a right snobby pain in the bottom. I quite liked this version of Angus, but finally Philippa, who played Chloemiddia, snapped and more drama ensued to hilarious climax. 

When I first had an idea of where they were going with the 'performance within a play', I immediately thought of the Farndale series... which have always been a favourite with our student performers. However, Publick Transport managed to perfectly execute the comedy so that it wasn't cheesy or over-done. Their application of melodramatic techniques was not only very funny, but will be a great point of reference for our students in the future. 

My favourite part was when Philppa flipped out and Angus tried to carry on the show over her rant. He kept running around and speaking all of the lines for her and Wayne as the latter looked on helplessly. Either that or when he was playing chess with himself... imagining that there was another 'him' on the other side of the table. But only because I do that sometimes.

If you run a venue then I urge you to book these guys. If you're a theatre-goer then I urge you to go and see this show, any show by Publick Transport. Keep up to date with them by their website and Facebook

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