Golden Tree Productions:
Gogmagog Charles Causley Festival, Launceston
Source - WMN - Review by Bert Biscoe
"AT THE excellent Charles Causley Festival, on our way from the Street Market to see Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, we stopped in the Castle to see the first night of Gogmagog – the monks of Glasney meet Flash Gordon in a modern pleyn an gwary (playing place), starring Will Coleman and Bec Appleby.
A pacey comic-strip story, deeply rooted in British and classical history and folklore, with an underpinning treatise on the history of theatre and its roots in Cornish culture and landscape, mixed with participative space travel in which the audience was strongly invited to launch and land Cap'n Brutus' intergalactic ship.
After a dream Brutus discovers Britain (which he names after himself). They are attacked by Giants and Brutus' lieutenant, Corin, wrestles their leader, Gogmagog. The fight occurs on Plymouth Hoe and Gogmagog dies, falling into the sea to create the new land which Brutus gives Corin and which becomes known as Cornwall.
The story is part of the Cornish oral tradition to this day and the dramatisation offered by Will Coleman, Bec Appleby, Jenny Beare and Steven Kelly, with a strong supporting cast, extends it to become a modern parable, told in the tradition of Cornish theatre with wit, action, interaction with the audience and excitingly controlled energy.
Will Coleman, pictured, creates, in Brutus, yet another memorable hero – his performance is at the centre of the show, but does not dominate the story – he is too good a storyteller to allow that to happen – and Brett Harvey's assured direction provides a well-timed, often hilarious and always insightful show. Bec Applebee invites an emotive and warm response from the audience, bringing her art, her experience and flexibility to bear.
Gogmagog will be the highlight of 2014's Cornish summer – it is touring Cornwall and needs to be seen – if you like profundity dressed as entertainment, and enjoy art that moves the adult as it thrills the child – buy your tickets now.
You can see Gogmagog on Saturday, July 5, at Lafrowda Festival, St Just; Saturday, July 12 at St Austell Feast Week, White River Place; Saturday, July 19 at Penryn Arts Festival, Glasney Field; Friday, July 25 at Perranporth Carnival with further dates in August.
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