I think I got reverse heckled. If there even is such a thing (mental note to check with my stand up comedy friends if reverse heckling actually exists).
As I write this, I am savaging a new, fresh, delicious banana in memory of the one I lost that fateful Sunday afternoon sat on the grassy slopes near the lake at Mt Ephraim, watching a performance of The History Of Britain (in 90 minutes), that, until that point I had been giggling like a school girl at.
To be perfectly honest, it's not really that much of a challenge. I have written about this little touring theatre company twice before. The problem is, they are always fresh, always energetic, always vibrant, and always just so damn funny.
It's infuriating really; you just can't stay angry at them. It's like trying to stay angry at a puppy that's pooped in your slipper and then gazes at you imploring (and disingenuously) with limpid eyes- it's not possible. Especially when they offer the chance for a pre-show selfie.
We managed picnic blankets and one chair that the boys fought over (Steve won - to be fair, it was his chair). Other groups managed to appear far more stylish with mutliple chairs, tables (and a tablecloth - check out the far left group below) and even glasswear for champagne. Show-off's.
Back on track. This then presented The Pantaloons with a bit of a dilemma, well, more of a challenge really. It's all well and good having a title that appeals to the masses, but you can't run for 90 minutes on just a title - people are liable to get bored. You need a show there as well. Trouble is, unlike their previous works which have all been adapted from pre-existing bodies of works (literary classics like Sherlock and Grimm, well known plays like Dream) this didn't really have a text already handily lying there screaming for use. Unless you count people's A-Level History books.
Well, they succeeded, and we were treated to A History of Britain that told the stories behind the facts, that paid respect to the tragedy that plagued our emerald isle and mocked the stupidity in peoples actions (a crown does not equate to intelligence. I think it's the weight - it makes the brains dribble out of the ears).
As with all Pantaloons material, we were also treated to a huge variety of different styles and performance techniques, with a fair bit of ad-libbing thrown in for good measure! This was the History of Britain like it had never been seen before - it was a bit like a cross between Blackadder and Horrible Histories meets a pantomime cabaret.
We then slowed down(!) a little with a re-telling of Shakespeare's Richard III in 15 minutes, complete with a non-sword battle as Kelly (The Red Loon) had hurt her hand a couple of days previously. I mention this as it gives you an idea of the style of The Pantaloons, when, mid yell, they both turn to the audience and explain that no actual fighting would be happening that day before launching straight back into character.
Remember, remember the 5th of Novemeber
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
After that sobering subject, we needed a bit of lift and finished the performance in pure Pantaloons style, with a sing and a dance!
Please, please go and check out this company and see if they are performing near you - if they are, go and see them.
Kelly, Edward, Alex and Chris, it's been a pleasure as always
I'll even forgive you for that banana.
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