The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha
Cheerful evocation of Cervantes’s crazy, crazy knight at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Taking on the thousand page novel by Cervantes might seem like a Quixotic attempt for a theatre company: the Little Soldier company may be tilting at windmills in their one-hour production, but emerge with a cheerfully and creatively shambolic success.
Patricia Rodriguez and Steve Harper take turns at playing the day-dreaming knight, with Merce Ribot as his errant cohort Sancho Panza, with the show punctuated with a cleverly integrated selection of live music from ethereal guitarist Maria Camahort. Reverence is not required to adapt such a playful, meta-fictional text, and Little Soldier do the right thing by being deliberately wrong-headed; the play opens as perversely as it can with the end and a feedback session with the audience. Along the way there are psychic monkeys, puppets, pillow fights, some impressively physical knockabout and a general anything-goes air that should win over fans of the book and entertainment seekers alike.
Directed by Ian Nicholson, the show is a likable slice of accomplished knockabout that, with a few minor cuts, would also make a good entertainment for family audiences; it’s also a neat introduction to Cervantes.
The Zoo, 662 6892, until Aug 25 (not 13, 20), £9 (£7).