Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Three Men In A Boat (theatre)

 Jerome K Jerome's classic Victorian story of a boat journey has amused and enchanted readers for over a century. Now, the Original  Theatre Company is bringing its version to the Devonshire Park stage. This is the same company that performed See How They Run in Eastbourne last year. The cast have three weeks of rehearsals in Eastbourne before the tour begins and have been posting photos and updates on their Facebook page. There are also a couple of wonderfully detailed photos of models for the sets.

Three Men In A Boat has been adapted by director Craig Gilbert and will be dotted with songs ranging from folk to music hall to Gilbert & Sullivan. Craig has said that his choice of songs was influenced by Jerome's mentions of Music Hall throughout the original book. There will be a live piano accompaniment, played by Sue Appleby, and the musical element adds a "lightness and playfulness which is perfectly in tune with the characters and the story".

Three young friends - J (Alastair Whatley), Harris (Tom Hackney) and George (Christopher Brandon) - decide to take a gentle boat trip from Kingston to Oxford in order to escape from the stress of their city lives. However, very little goes to plan and they end up in all kinds of mischief from disagreements with swans to culinary disasters.
There are only three actors and, between them, they will play all the parts so I think it will be quite a challenge for them to remember not only the whens and wheres of the script, but also who they should be as they speak!

Devonshire Park Theatre, Tue 28th Aug - Sat 8th Sep, 19:45.
£13, £16, £18.
Wed & Sat matinees, 14:30.
£13.50 all seats.
No performances Sun or Mon.

Tickets online from Eastbourne Theatres, in person at the Box Office, or by phone on 01323 412000.

1 comment:

  1. The set for Three Men In A Boat is the back room of an pub, all warm wood panelling, interesting and detailed. I loved the inventiveness of the prop use, especially the various creations of the boat and the Swans. The pianist on stage is a nice addition and her playing matched the vintage ambience. Plus the accordion with George’s folk song was particularly poignant.
    Jerome’s original story has been recreated to include songs and slapstick, most of which worked well, although I did think a couple of the modern inclusions were too long – Chariots for example. In contrast, a few spoken gags were so underplayed as to be easily missed which was a shame.
    Overall, the play is entertaining and humorous with many giggles throughout and it was nice to see so many people in the DP enjoying it. Hopefully such audiences will continue for the rest of the run as the cast & crew deserve this!

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