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Review: Turpin play with songs


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MGM·Lion 21 Sep 11 - 12:41 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Sep 11 - 06:44 AM
MGM·Lion 25 Sep 11 - 03:27 PM
MGM·Lion 04 Nov 11 - 01:05 AM
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Subject: Review: Turpin play with songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 12:41 AM

The beautiful little Theatre Royal at Bury St Edmunds was built by Wilkins, architect of the National Gallery, in 1819, and has claims to being the oldest working theatre in the country. Among its distinguished history is the first ever performance of 'Charley's Aunt' in 1892, and an appearance as the egregious Mr Crummles' theatre in the 1947 film of 'Nicholas Nickleby'. The theatre produces its own in-house touring show from time to time; and the current one, 'Dick Turpin's Last Ride, a musical play', is of particular interest to folk people.

On an open scaffold stage, an expressionist drama is played out by a company of five. The rationale is debate on the claims of artistic licence and historical fact: on one side the Victorian historical novelist Harrison Ainsworth, now rather yesterday's man but outseller of Dickens in his day, whose novel 'Rookwood'[1834, almost a century after the events it purports to relate] more or less invented the familiar Turpin-myth, gentleman-highwayman, rider of the heroic Black Bess to York in a day, and all that; and on the other his detractors, including the shades of some who claimed have to have known the actual villainous robber, rapist and murderer. Thus is the well-known tale both related and deconstructed. In aid is called much thespian and musical skill: all five are singers, and between them play fiddle, accordion, concertina, guitars, banjo, mandolin, side drum, bodhrans, and can do that kind of dancing that provides its own percussive accompaniment.

We hear'Turpin-Hero', of course, more than once; and other traditional airs, 'The Bold Poachers' and 'Streets of Derry' among them, are pressed into service. Other songs are in this folk idiom: the leitmotiv praise of the joys of 'The High Toby' figures largely and strikingly, framing the narrative.

A creation, then, of much narrative and folkloric interest. It will be coming soon to Greenwich, Lowestoft, Wakefield, Southampton, Chipping Norton, Margate, Ipswich, Eastbourne. Catch it if you can.

~Michael Grosvenor Myer~

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Subject: RE: Review: Turpin play with songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 06:44 AM


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Subject: RE: Review: Turpin play with songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 Sep 11 - 03:27 PM

It occurs to me that some with access to venues on this play's forthcoming tour might like to know the dates:~

GREENWICH Theatre 27 Sep-1 Oct
Marina Theatre, LOWESTOFT 4-5 Oct
Theatre Royal, WAKEFIELD 6-8 Oct
The Nuffield, SOUTHAMPTON 11-15 Oct
The Theatre, CHIPPING NORTON 19-20 Oct
Theatre Royal, MARGATE 21-22 Oct
Theatre Royal, BURY ST EDS [return] 1-5 Nov
New Wolsey Theatre, IPSWICH 8-10 Nov
Devonshire Park Theatre, EASTBOURNE 15-19 Nov

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Subject: RE: Review: Turpin play with songs
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Nov 11 - 01:05 AM

There was a very favourable review by Libby Purves in yesterday's "The Times" as play returned to BStEds. Citizens of Ipswich & Eastbourne: note it is coming your way next week & week after.


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