Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Murray Lachlan Young, The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps at Wiltons. Review.
I took Mr Pounce to this show as a belated birthday present along with a friend.
The idea of a gothic tale told entirely in iambic pentameter might perhaps not seem a crowd pulling idea. Hold your horses though.
Wiltons Music Hall in all its decayed splendour is the ideal venue for this show. The theatre itself seems to involve itself in the whole thing; it is Raddlesham Mumps, a decaying stately pile riddled with steam punk gothic seediness, the set bleeds into the theatre and the theatre revels in the gore. Essentially this is site specific performance poetry without pretention.
The show is an hour of what Murray does best, narrative verse liberally larded with wit, humour and imagination, delivered in slightly bumbling manner (all part of the whole) designed to, seemingly, encourage the audience into viewing him as one might a well loved avuncular roue. with a score that adds to the proceedings subtly, a healthy dose of physical theatre and a touch of silliness.
the bardic tradition lives on.
It is important to emphasize that this is not a one man show. Joe Allen mutely provides sub titles throughout to wonderful effect and is the glue that binds it together. Both actors milk the proceedings with gusto.
I'm not here to tell you the plot, I'll leave that to Murray and Joe, other than to say it is, as advertised, a gothic tale of multiple early deaths ( a recurring theme in Murrays work, vide The 9 Dead Williams) .
I was slightly unneved to see children in the audience, expecting the bored chatter and itchy bummed fidgeting that normally chaperones little ones at such times. Not a chance, they were entranced from what I couls see and were, as children are, at ease expressing mirth when occasioned and encouraging the adults to do likewise.
Go and see this with the kids, it is a wonderful introduction to the wonders of theatre. You can spend the cash saved on babysitters in the bar.
There is only one more performance at Wiltons (tonight) but can be caught on tour soon. Check out venues and dates on Murrays website HERE
After a post performance beer in the bar we moved on to Vout-O-Reenee's round the corner.... A story for another time.