A Dashing Fellow at New Diorama Theatre

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A Dashing Fellow at New Diorama Theatre

Published:

Fri, 02/05/2014 - 14:54

By:

paul
Peter Clements in A Dashing Fellow
Peter Clements in A Dashing Fellow
Published: 
02 May, 2014
PHOEBE SMITH

A DASHING Fellow is a beautifully crafted fusion of three short stories by Vladimir Nabokov, which, combined with a genuinely talented cast, provides a near-perfect theatre experience.

Using a train/tram station in 1930s Germany as emblematic of displacement and journeys – both emotional and physical – the small cast embrace their disparate characters with skilful enthusiasm. The minimal set by Agnes Treplin accurately conveys the dichotomy of personal isolation within a bustling public space, the dark smoky ephemeral nature of being “in transit”.

Each character is on a quest; the broken-hearted train conductor Alexey with his awful love songs and deadpan monologues to his missing wife, brilliantly enacted by Luke Courtier with great pathos and comic timing. Lena, the dutiful wife, played with prim determination by Kate Craggs searches through the mayhem, forever a few steps away from a potential reunion with Alexey.

Josef Gorf’s depiction of Constantin is powerfully complex, a self-deluded man who thinks himself a philandering romantic but is in reality an empty sexual predator. His target, the bubbly Sonja, who yearns for love and companionship, is achingly portrayed by Madeleine Knight with poignant acquiescence.

Erwin is a chronically shy and psychologically damaged young man, performed brilliantly by Edward Cole. His licentious leering and silent sexual obsession manages to be both pitiful and totally repellent. In desperation and hope Erwin embarks on an unfortunate pact with the Devil.

Acting as narrator, Frau Monde, aka the Devil, is played with delicious abandon by Peter Clements as a voguing, kohl-heavy femme fatale with all the slow exaggerated gestures of a silent screen star. Devilish melodrama with wry humour and compassion!

With stunning percussive sound effects, hilariously ribald songs and effective tableaux, the interweaving of all the characters is beautifully choreographed by Liana Nyquist and creatively directed by Simon Eves to make A Dashing Fellow an illustration of the recognisable frailties and strengths of being human.

Highky recommended.

UNTIL MAY 17
0844 209 0344

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