Kemble’s Riot - what a hoot!
What a hoot! A melodramatic snippet from The Scottish Play (actors actually mentioned real name twice – no wonder the theatre burned down) is followed by audience rabble rousing. Based on a true incident of 55 days of riots at the Covent Garden Theatre over prices, the play touches upon, greed, money, nature of theatre, role of the actor, role of the audience and mob behaviour and no doubt several other things I missed. That’s some achievement for a Fringe play in a small venue like the Old Courthouse. Then again, the venue has a disputational provenance.
Audience participation can be a bit forced and hokey but here the audience really do get to contribute. The English are a bit reticent in these situations but we all got into gear and clapped, hooted, sang and abused the actors, time and time again. Then the twist! Won’t go into detail, all I’d say is, get along to this. These guys deserve full houses and a longer run. Actually, they deserve a bigger venue. I’d love to see this in the Theatre Royal, a good, old real theatre.
Oh and great to watch it with Pete and Lisa, followed by fun conversation in the Collonade Bar afterwards. What a fine evening.