Skip to main content

Review of Can The Mountains Love The Sea? - A Viking Wedding Saga by Tim Ralphs at Royal & Derngate (Underground), Northampton

I like reviewing the storytelling events (and this is the fourth that I have seen), as I go for the ramble inanely approach (what do you mean that's what I normally do?) rather than the full on critic. So for this one perhaps I might say something silly about sitting for over an hour in the Underground without ending up a pool of water on the floor. I might even say something also about that moment when I took my chair and thought I was about to be interrogated under that most scary spotlight that greeted us.

However I won't on this occasion (but I have) as its time to get serious! Tim Ralphs was our storyteller on the evening and while he wasn't my favourite of the professional tellers I have seen so far (if he was reading this, he will have stopped now), he was darn close. He was also very interesting in the informative Q&A after as well, which was a lovely added bonus for the night.

His story of Can The Mountains Love The Sea? was a Norse influenced tale based on The Marriage of Njord and Skadi and and mainly for an adult audience. Not overly adult though, just a bit of swearing (I have never shouted "bum" with so many people before) and a touch of genitalia tug of war which you either laughed or squirmed through. It was more that the premise of the story was more adult, with a sort of bad marriage situation rather than the happy ever after variety.

It was of course a story I hadn't heard before and was very well told by the bare footed Mr Ralphs. Slightly less physical than a few I have seen, but willing to involve the audience (mainly early on), especially with the honoured guests we had in the front row, who knew Loki was there or that ever so, ever so handsome one.

It was an excellent hour of storytelling and coupled with the lovely Q&A after (which I was glad to see so many came back to. I have seen many fewer for these), an excellent night. I shall look forward to my second viewing of Mr Ralphs at the future Storytelling at the Feast of Fools that he shall be attending. The devil in a supermarket sounds right on my wavelength.

««««


Performance reviewed: Saturday 18th April, 2015 at the Royal & Derngate (Underground), Northampton.

Can The Mountains Love The Sea? was part of a two show day from Tim Ralphs at the Royal & Derngate on Saturday 18th April, 2015.

For further details about Tim Ralphs visit his website at http://www.timralphs.com/

For further details about the Royal & Derngate visit their website at http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Our Lady Of Kibeho at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

The premise of Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall is one that on paper would seriously not appeal to many peoples perhaps, mixing religion and the background of the looming catastrophe of the genocide against the Tutsi, it maybe alienates plenty of people immediately. However, this is a great shame, as there is much to genuinely admire, and perhaps more surprisingly enjoy of this latest production from Made in Northampton and director James Dacre.

Hall's story of this "true event" opens with a confrontation between Sister Evangelique (Michelle Asante) and Father Tuyishime (Ery Nzaramba) over the fact that pupil Alphonsine Mumureke (Gabrielle Brooks) claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. Few believe her at first, ridicule her and bully both her and anyone who supports her, however, soon another sees visions of the Virgin Mary, and then another, and soon this small little college in Kibeho, Rwanda is very much a focal point of attention.

Our Lady of Kibeho perhaps takes two …

Review of The Full Monty at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

The 1997 film The Full Monty is one of the best regarded of relatively recent British films, due to it being both a warm and emotionally strong tale, solid comedy and a wealth of acting talent, and it's no surprise that its very theme has spawned an immensely successful touring stage version. It literally overflows with the opportunity to be performed in front of a, probably mostly female, audience, well, the final scene does, in any case. However, what of the rest, and how about for a male audience member? So to speak. Well, it was time to find out.

The first thing that is apparent from The Full Monty stage show, is how faithful this is to the film. Much of the show is what you have seen if you have seen the film, but translated cleverly to the stage, it feels just that little more real and gritty as well. It opens with a nicely staged scene of darkness and flashes of a torch as Gaz (Gary Lucy), his son Nathan (Fraser Kelly) and Dave (Kai Owen) break into their former factory wo…

Review of Hamlet by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

I am personally all about making Shakespeare accessible, I take the Emma Rice line, that many were not keen on, that after a few hundred years, it's perhaps worthy of mixing it up a bit to make it more meaningful to a modern audience. I have a feeling the man himself would have no qualms about seeing his classic Hamlet transposed into a garish multi-coloured world, set in a much more hip place.
The Denmark that we see here and that is still referenced, is now very much an African country, and not just because of the heavy black actor casting, this is all about a style and a carnival feeling to many of the scenes. Music is provided by tribal-like drums, and characters stalk the scenes carrying handguns and rifles, bringing a modern feeling to the conflict as well. This is certainly not the "rotten state of Denmark" that most Shakespeare aficionados are familiar with.
Characters are changed drastically as we have more cocksure, swaggering, modern feeling to the individual…