Two extraordinary theatre performances within a mere 6 days of each other, thanks to Arts Alive.
First up, The Pearl by company Dumbshow, seen at All Stretton Village Hall on 8th November was a beautiful synthesis of lyrical scripting that moved with a rhythmic, tidal ebb and flow and fluent, ensemble performance. Add in a magical set, highly inventive use of props, great physical theatre skills, mesmerising characterisation and laugh out loud humour and it was , quite simply, a pearl of a show. Our 14 year old son, who had been initially reluctant to come out commented at the end, “brilliant! Really glad I saw that. It made me think about human nature; made me laugh and was packed with imagination. Loved the ‘it’s a boy! (buoy) moment and the underwater diving scene.” High praise. Dumbshow - you are amazing. Thank you.
Secondly, one man show extraordinaire , David Mynne of Rabbit Theatre at Wigmore Village Hall on 13th November, performing Great Expectations. It was clear from the moment he stepped into the performance area, with only a table, chair, small suitcase and candle that this was going to exceed expectation and be more than great. I had the surreal feeling of needing to pinch myself to check that yes, I really was seeing performance of this calibre in a village hall deep in rural Herefordshire. Mynne’s physical and vocal control, inventiveness, stage presence and skill was so compelling, and yet so incredibly simple, that there were moments of gasp out loud response from the audience. Two acts and utterly mesmerising from start to finish. I was tempted to try to see it again on its short Arts Alive tour - it was THAT good, THAT mesmerising. However, I’m just lucky to have seen it once.
So, again, I find myself marvelling that we have the high quality theatre one would usually have to go to Edinburgh FringeHFestival to see, or to a city theatre. Lucky Shropshire and herefordshire to have Arts Alive.