Theatre interlude: Every Last Trick

15 May


Another ‘Made in Northampton’ original production from my local venue, Northampton’s Royal and Derngate:  ‘Every Last Trick’ is a very loose adaptation by Tamsin Oglesby of an 1892 farce (Le Systeme ribadier)  by Georges Feydeau. It is ridiculous, absurd and great fun – involving  people associated with the established companies ‘Told By An Idiot’ (director Paul Hunter) and ‘Spymonkey’ (actors Atior Basaur and Adrien Gygax).

Imagine a plot which starts with the  premise that the Spanish Ambassador is a philandering member of the magic circle who mesmerises his wife in order to meet his mistress (using the the codeword ‘I love you’).  From there, it is but a short step to an actor (Basaur) contributing to a musical interlude while dressed as a grasshopper and later (no longer dressed as a grasshopper) sawing a man in half!

Feydeau may be there – somewhere – but the spirit of this production  is physical theatre, slapstick, pantomime and  and a surrealism that  kept reminding me of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer and even Monty Python. It was very much an entertainment to be enjoyed rather than written about.

The other cast members were Sophie Russell, as the ambassador’s wife and Toby Park as her former love (returned, by elephant from Borneo of course). Russell’s role requires her to dance and play the ukelele but also act comatose while being manhandled. On more than one occasion the silliness of the performance was so infectious that she was struggling not to giggle, prompting Basaur, who is a natural clown, to ad lib “she must be having a very nice dream”!

Not a great piece of theatre – but certainly an amusing night out.



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