No results found

Waterperry web banner2 f2suhd
What's On, Culture, Theatre

Review: Don Quixote

Beautiful moments in this two-hander about getting older

divider
IMG 6395 2

It’s rather brave really, for Creation Theatre to stage their latest offering in the Covered Market, where there is a large hanging timepiece visible to audience members to whom you don’t really want to give the opportunity to clock watch. However, it did take me until the second half to spot it was there, and that would be the only time I looked at it, during this two-hander about getting older that – while overacted at times with a couple of scripting issues – holds some beautiful moments.

For this Don Quixote, director Jonathan Holloway has adapted Cervantes’ 17th century novel, setting it in the 21st. Some of the modernisation works an absolute treat, namely the heavy incorporation of James Bond. The books and films of 007 inspire fairly entertaining chit-chat between Eric Maclennan’s Dom and Graeme Rose’s Sam, as well as wackier and more intense dialogue. Where the modernisation doesn’t do quite so well is in certain one-off lines; the mentions of smart phones and eBay which seem forced, as if they’re there in order to squeeze in as many contemporary references as possible.

There are some fabulous bits between the characters, the strongest being the game of ‘doubles’ they play, in which they each take it in turns to think of famous duos. Names bounce about like balls in a tennis match for a pleasingly long time, granting viewers the chance to join the game, in their heads – potentially turning the segment into more than something you just watch and listen to. Moreover the final scene of Dom and Sam, in which (spoiler alert) the latter cradles the dying former’s head, is very moving. It’s a signal that in the time leading up to that point, Maclennan and Rose have managed to convey a believably loving friendship it’s sad to see finished.

A few more ad-libs, eye rolls and mutterings might give that friendship even more authenticity (and perhaps generate a few extra laughs), and the piece would have more effect if there was a simple blackout and a couple of siren noises following Sam’s bike crash at the end of the first half – as it is the sirens go on for quite some time with recorded voices and flashing lights which seem a bit unnecessary. But, Maclennan’s Louis Armstrong impersonation is commendable, the show makes excellent use of the space, the set is charming, and the second half in particular doesn’t drag. In the very least, you probably won’t find yourself clock watching.

Don Quixote is at Oxford’s Covered Market until 28 September.

Richard Budd Photography

RECOMMENDED

nik kershaw
Fri 31 May 2024

Nik Kershaw’s debut album Human Racing came out in 1984 and saw him dominating the singles chart with tracks including Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Dancing Girls. Swiftly followed by The Riddle, Nik spent 62 weeks in the charts and was one of the musicians to play Live Aid in July 1985.

Nell Mescal pwj9ug
Fri 31 May 2024

For the uninitiated, Nell Mescal (yes, sister of actor Paul) is an Irish singer-songwriter who hit the festival circuit hard last summer, playing (amongst others) The Great Escape, BST Hyde Park, Boardmasters and Live at Leeds. This year, she’s headed to Oxfordshire and Alex James’ Big Feastival for August bank holiday weekend. Eloise Lonsdale caught up with her to find out more about her musical style and her recently launched EP, Can I Miss it For a Minute.

Sea Girls Credit Blacksocks qoafap
Fri 31 May 2024

2024’s Truck line-up looks to be one of its best yet, balancing big names with emerging artists and beloved regulars. As an event, it has come to mark start of the summer holidays for its devoted attendees, but how about the acts? We caught up with Oli Khan, drummer in indie-rock band Sea Girls to get the bands-eye view.

Corinne Bailey Rae
Wed 1 May 2024

Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On snap-shotted the summer of 2006. Her most recent release, Black Rainbows came out 2023 and it is obvious to hear how much she is relishing the full range of her unique voice and, as I was to discover when we spoke, her extraordinarily lyrical vocabulary.