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Don Quijote - Camden People's Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TWO extra performances have been added to Don Quijote – Friday, January 31 and Saturday, February 1, 2014, both at 7.30pm.

Previously Posted: Tom Frankland and Keir Cooper in association with Último Comboio are presenting the London debut of Don Quijote at Camden People’s Theatre – from January 15 to January 25, 2014.

Part of CPT’s Hard To Resist: A Festival of Protest, the piece is devised and performed by Frankland and Cooper, with a guest Don Quijote each night.

Quite literally taking a chain saw to Miguel de Cervantes’ novel of 1605 (part 1) and 1615 (part 2), this ‘provocative and playful punk interpretation’ combines anarchic performance with original music.

‘Caressing and assaulting the senses’, it remains true to the formally experimental, boundary smashing, devil-may-care spirit of its inspiration, mixing the media of shadow play, projection, autobiographical story-telling, video interviews, live musical performance and dance.

Central to this interpretation of the novel is the notion of the title role of Don Quijote being represented by a different local performer at each show. Previous guest Don Quijotes during the Edinburgh Fringe run include: Tim Crouch, Chris Thorpe, Gemma Brockis, Rajni Shah, Angela Clerkin (Improbable) and Nigel Barrett (Shunt) with a new protagonist sought each night for the London run.

Speaking about the piece, Tom Frankland said: “We wanted to say that this book isn’t just a classic comedy tale about chasing your dreams and the beauty and futility of doing so. Don Quijote was written 400 years ago by a man in prison, with one arm, who says that society punishes dreamers who are trying to make a difference.

“Our production suggests that things haven’t changed all that much. We have tried to approach this production with the same brazen attitude Cervantes took to the theme and with equal irreverence, presenting our own radical and absurd worldview. It is about how we don’t know what to do with individuals who want to affect change in unconventional ways.

“It is about our role as individuals within society – not necessarily to behave like Don Quijote; but to consider our response to those who do.”

Tom Frankland is a performer and theatre maker. He has devised several award-winning shows, most notably Scotsman Fringe First-winning Running On Air (2010) with his partner Laura Mugridge, and Paperweight with Sebastien Lawson and Jamie Wood, as part of The Frequency D’ici (Fringe First 2008), with whom he more recently staged the critically acclaimed Free Time Radical (2011).

According to a press release, Camden People’s Theatre’s Hard To Resist: A Short, Sharp Festival of Protest waves its fist at 2014 and stands shoulder to shoulder with work from Coney, Lucy Ellinson, Dan Bye, Hannah Nicklin, Hannah Silva and The Gramophones among others.

Tickets (for Don Quijote): £10, £8 concessions – available from the box office on 08444 77 1000 or online at www.cptheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Vary.