‘Three Men in a Boat’ is the best show I have seen for ages.
A highly original, often hilariously funny interpretation of the original story.
I have seen some great shows in both London and Brighton over the years, but here we had a great night out at a lovely little provincial theatre in Eastbourne, thanks to The Original Theatre Company.
The beautiful Victorian pub set was an intriguing work of art before anyone appeared on the stage. Then we had the actress Sue Appleby who played the role of pianist in a understated way which worked very well with the other members of the cast Tom Hackney, Christopher Brandon, Alastair Wheatley and Montmorency, a small model of a dog with attitude.
What a fantastic collaboration between the director, the artistic director Alastair Wheatley and everyone else involved. A triumph for the actors brought about by a combination of mime, clowning, and the best of stand up comedy techniques.
Their ability to be true to the original story and yet bring to the work so much energy, physicality and comic timing was second to none.
The boat itself, a few props, a table set on its side, a couple of chairs etc became truly convincing as the actors, with exaggerated leg movements, climbed in and out of the boat!
There were so many engaging little scenes without ever moving from the main set. Some of the interactions between the caste were as finely tuned as the performances of the late Morecambe and Wise. Some of the clowning had one smiling and then laughing out loud.
There is much to recommend this show including the music played on the piano, pathos too which lead to very moving singing.
If it comes on tour near you, don’t miss it…and I hope it moves to London, it deserves too, A friend took me to see it as a treat, but quite honestly, there was so much to take in I want to see it again!