Until Sat Sep 1 2012
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Mon Aug 20 2012
A condensed version of Bunyan's 'The Pilgrim's Progress' sounds like a daunting venture. That dense allegorical tale about a young traveller, Christian, seeking salvation isn't known for its chuckles. Yet Beggarsbelief's resourceful and witty adaptation, 'A Progress', reminds us what a pure joy theatre can be.
The Yard Theatre's holiday-camp feel provides an apt setting for this gleefully childish production. The slapdash set and costumes might look like they've been stapled together, but they're nicely evocative. Christian's children are represented by cleverly manipulated sheets; the Giant Man is a looming silhouette, and roaring lions are played by dancing mops.
Thomas Edward-Bennett is an awesome Appolyon, his dragon-like form invoked using a bucket punched with holes, poles for arms and ragged sheets for wings. Matthew Jewson is the ideal romantic protagonist, wide-eyed and swishy-haired. Christian Jamieson's excellent narrator is earnest when he needs to be, wonderfully droll when he does not; he establishes a brilliant rapport with the audience. By the end, the spectators were spontaneously singing along with the cast.