BWW Reviews: DON QUIJOTE, Camden People's Theatre, January 7 2014
It is (natch) quixotic to stage a version of the mighty chronicle of the unhinged Spanish knight in a North London basement, but what's life (especially theatre) for if not such dreams? The joy - in the book, in the production, indeed in life itself - lies not in falling short of the impossible dream, but in the journey towards it.
Tom Frankland, Keir Cooper & Último Comboio do not present the tale of the knight, his friend and his donkey - they evoke the spirit of the book through a cavalcade of stimuli. There are puppets, shadowplay, Skype calls, TV images, roleplay (that's us - so you're warned), improv, music and paper shredding. More too no doubt, but I may have been re-positioning my cushion on the floor and missed a moment. Inevitably, it's a little uneven and, on Press night, slightly loose, but I expect the interplay between the cast and between performers and public to tighten up in time.
The show will be different every night - a guest Quixote is promised for each version - but at its heart, it will continue (not least through the real-life Quixotes presented and celebrated on screen) to rejoice in humanity's insistence that its reach should exceed its grasp. Emerging at ground level into London's streets, pulsing with possibilities and pitfalls, it's a lesson as pertinent today as it was 400 years ago.
Don Quijote continues at Camden People's Theate until 25 January.