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Quest – a spectacular night out of legendary proportions



Review by Emma Whitelaw

IMAGINE traditional Christmas theatre, then add spectacular extras like real horses accompanied by stunt riders, jousting and tumbling acrobats and you’d have the mother of all festive shows – Quest: The Legend of the Green Knight.

Young and old alike were delighted by the various tricks and revelry as we were transported back in time to the Christmastide court of King Arthur.

The Great Hall of Camelot is celebrating the New Year when, unexpectedly, the Green Knight explodes into the court and demands that the knights prove their 'reputed' bravery.

The Green Knight, played by Toby Gaffney, poses an outrageous challenge. To prove their kingdom’s valour, a member of the court must strike a blow to the Green Knight with an axe.

The challenge sounds simple enough, but there’s more; 12 months later, The Green Knight will, in turn, deal the same blow to that of his killer. And not only that, the challenger must be able to find the ghost of The Green Knight before his time is up.

Damian Davis is superb as the courageous Sir Gawain – the only knight brave/mad enough to rise to the challenge.

He tells The Green Knight that he will indeed defend the honour of Camelot. Against the will of both King and court, Sir Gawain takes the axe and beheads the ghoulish Green Knight.

The special effects in this scene are astounding! It’s a wonder that the children in the audience didn’t run away screaming as the Green Knight rode off on his horse carrying his head under his arm and disappearing into the night.

And so begins the legendary journey of Sir Gawain and his loyal companion, Dag, Seamus Allen, in their quest to find The Green Knight.

Allen is hilarious as the court jester-turned-quest hero. He had the audience in stitches many a time with his loopy gags and goofy tricks. He truly is one of the cast’s brightest stars.

But I simply must make mention also of the spectacular performance of the equine stars of the show. The horses and riders alike were truly fabulous and it was indeed a unique experience to witness full contact jousting as well as trick riding, all under a big top!

The creators of Quest: The Legend of King Arthur are by far and away the most ground-breakingly imaginative that I have come across this year. It’s like Christmas panto meets medieval circus; never before have I been so dazzled by a production!

Words really cannot do this production justice; it is truly a marvel to behold and an experience to cherish this Christmas season.

Definitely a must-see!

Quest: The Legend of the Green Knight by Carolyn Spedden. Starring Seamus John Allen, Nicola Burnett-Smith, Damian Davis, Toby Gaffney, Elizabeth Keates, Andrew Mcbean, Chris Porter, Gareth Taylor, Kate Waters, Charlotte Weston, Grace Willow. Acrobats are Sue Bruce, Susie Glatt, Nix Hall, James Roberts, Robyn Simpson. Horse Riders are John Kearney, Rachel Kearney, Richard Hansen. December 16 December to January 3, 2005 at The Big Top, Clapham Common, London SW4 9BS. Box office 020 7482 0115.

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