‘A story of love, war and fizz powder…’
Kneehigh have stormed straight back onto the stage with the outrageous, spectacular assault on the senses that is their adaptation of Gunter Grass’ The Tin Drum. Blinding lights, ear piercing noises and the ever present scent of matchsticks really keeps you in the present, in awe of the spectacle that this incredible cast has created.
Set in the throes of World War II, The Tin Drum follows the story of Oskar Matzerath – born heir to his father’s grocery store, he decides at the age of 3 to remain a child forever but only in his stature. His mental capacity ages as he does, and with this comes his sense of entitlement and will to change the world he has always perceived as fragile and easily manipulated. Which is something that – although a puppet – Oskar is not. Puppeteer Sarah Wright does a magnificent job of bringing this unruly and anarchic character to life, with uncharacteristically natural movement that almost makes you forget you’re watching a puppet. This is also partially due to the outstanding cast, creating movement and voices that really pull you into this extravagant storytelling masterpiece.
As a company Kneehigh are well known for their alternative musical creations and this provides no exception; astonishing vocals provided by every member of the cast bring to life the poetic style of the production and the musicality of the story. The various ranges of the multi talented cast provide a multifaceted performance, from intense highs to incredible lows and everything in between – including a breath taking acapella segment from the whole chorus that puts into perspective the sheer talent of this company.
Director Mike Shepherd has truly outdone himself in regards to set design, creating a true to life yet extremely versatile stage pertaining to every aspect of the production; from the eerie and emotional moments to those full of comedy and light, all that is needed is a switch of props and it all springs to life.
This mesmerising, energy-filled performance will keep you hooked and on your toes, and make you wonder on its eerie relevance today – but it really is something you won’t forget any time soon. 5/5
Review written by Hazel Hinchcliffe.
The Tin Drum is currently showing until Saturday 28th October 2017 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. For more information on the production, visit here…