Review: I Malvolio, Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, June 6th
- Credit: Archant
From the moment the audience began to file in, the slight giggling started as we noticed a man in the corner of the stage, dressed in a torn white jumpsuit, who was comically sneering at us.
We were soon told this revengeful creature was Malvolio, one of the minor characters from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, who was here to retell the tale in his own terms.
Written and performed by Tim Crouch, the show, which touches on themes of bullying and madness, was original, relevant and hilarious.
As well as the comedy element, this was an intelligent piece of theatre. It made us question our own morality, particularly at the mock hanging scene, where he encouraged the audience to partake in an enthusiastic countdown, before reminding us what we were actually becoming involved in.
Crouch may have been the only one on stage but the audience was definitely the other character. He called on a young boy to kick his behind, he got ‘coughing lady’ to help put on his coat, and also dragged two unsuspecting audience members to assist with the mock suicide bid. This all sounds bizarre and it was, but we went with it and he had us eating out of his hand.
You may also want to watch:
Able to ad lib with ease, he cajoled the audience and threw in a couple of local references before launching into a poetic verse, proving his considerable acting talent.
Crouch seemed to forget his lines a few times, claiming ‘I haven’t done this show since March -there’s a fair bit of slippage’. Whether this was part of the act, or genuine, either way, he used it to his comedic advantage.
- 1 Explained: What is causing the long queues at petrol stations?
- 2 More Suffolk petrol stations closed as PM plans action
- 3 Suffolk petrol stations avoid closure as garages shut nationwide
- 4 How it all unfolded: Town grab late point against Owls in bizarre fashion
- 5 Lorry drivers being offered up to £60,000 and other bonuses as shortage bites
- 6 Petrol queues worsen rush-hour traffic
- 7 Dramatic pictures as huge barn fire breaks out near coast
- 8 Road off A14 closed after serious collision
- 9 Two arrested after man dies in crash
- 10 Blaze spreads from classic car to bungalow next door
This could have been dry, complex, and arduous, but instead was pure joy, side-splittingly funny and one of the best solo acts I have ever seen.