Friday, May 10, 2019

Voltemand and Cornelius are Joyfully Returned - People's Theatre - Review

Voltemand and Cornelius are Joyfully Returned
Picture courtesy of People's Theatre
People's Theatre
8th May 2019

I didn't know much about this play when I came but it's surprisingly good.

I have always said I hate Shakespeare and I do; his plays are boring, not that good and something that I wouldn't make my worst enemy to go to see!

But Paul Vates is doing some good stuff, this Leeds born writer who beat nearly 100 entries in the People's Play competition.

So who are the 2 main characters??

Voltemand, played by Stephen Sharkey though small in stature he makes up for it in acting ability.
Cornelius, played by the all singing and dancing Robbie Close was amazing and probably the star performer of the night for me.

It's a little and large combination which works really well.

The play is set in World War 1 but for most of the play I'm sure the language was Shakespearean.

The two find Sleeper (played by Laura Brown - who's friends were sitting in front of me).
They don't know how they got there and believe they are ambassadors of the King (Claudius, Hamlet's Uncle).

We don't know if they are insane or if everyone else is?? How can you tell???

This play gives you an insight into what it was like in the First World War and there aren't many people alive that can tell those stories, and to think a second war happened less than 30 years later.

This play brings the war to life in a new and different way.

The Second half starts with them in a bombed out church in France where the doctor (played by Pete McAndrew) delves into what they are doing as they may have taken a bit of a wrong turn (Norway to Denmark via France is a big detour if you ask me!)

We do find out what one of them is there for, but the other one has to go and find himself.

In a world where people are dying left right and centre, it would be easier for them to simply die  as too, but as they struggle on through life they learn that they can cope.

The War broke many people's minds especially those who went out to fight and this play shows how it affected people in a way like never before.

The play has some great jokes that are used really well, for example there is a joke about one of them being a shite actor!

Everyone who is involved in this whether it's the cast or crew should be proud of themselves.

Director Chris Heckels should definitely get some praise for the show as he kinda made Shakespeare good again for me, assisted by Evelyn Ryan.

Voltemand and Cornelius play until 11th of May 2019

Rubes Hiles

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