Come one, Come All to this tragic Affair…is an introduction which seems fittingly implicit of the outcome in the play I have just seen;
”The Funfair” is an immaculate modernisation (adapted by the genius that is Simon Stevens) of the 1932 premier “Kashimir und Karoline”. The thematic addition of the gristly glamour of fairground; with its grease, dirt and candy floss is alluring from the off in its undertow and gives the overall story an immersive new dimension and a juxtaposing poignancy.
Kash (excellently executed in tired , masculine self-affliction by Ben Batt) and Karoline’s (Katie Moore who mastered the art of depicting decline) love is doomed from the opening scenes , corrupt and sullied by personal insecurities, coaxed and squeezed out by a wolfish world, maimed at the jaws of social, economic and political turmoil (rings a bell!).
The tragedy is set in place as Kash seeks refuge under the wings of his best friend and grubby, footloose, misogynistic Frankie Marr (played by Michael Ryan in an absolute 5 star, stand out, “Jesus he’s good “ portrayal), whilst Karoline is guided into unassuming danger by the odd, jittery Chase (endearingly played by Rhodri Meilir) and his partner, the undermined Esther (Victoria Gee).
Christopher Wright as the nauseating Southerner Mr David Spear and Ian Bartholomew as Mr Billy Smoke are the serpents in the grass, the embodiment of the world’s nastiness; the performances are again pretty much perfect and spellbinding.
The stage set-up and music are also perfect in this play, with a band playing in what seemed to be a recording both above and below the stage in each musical interlude to add a sinister and unnerving tone to the play’s foundation – a great effect.
The soundtrack itself also adds a distinct atmosphere to the play, mainly focusing on 50’s/60’s rock n roll songs – a dreamboats and petticoats nightmare emerges from the soothing melodies to further immerse me (the audience) into the plot, the effect was perfect.
The play is heart-breaking, the acting was acutely on point, the visuals hypnotic and now I want to go to The Funfair.