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