Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a sprinkling of Dickens… So what better than to take a whole heap of Dickens style plot lines and characters and put them into a giant blender, add some humourous songs and ridiculous story-lines and serve to a eager crowd. Result? Another masterpiece from one of the country’s finest, and possibly smallest, theatre companies.
Round the Twist or Oliver Nicklefield’s Bleak Little Tale of Two Mutual Expectations. And Son to give it it’s full title is sheer delight from start to end. Based on a play by Brendan Murray and told by Oliver Nicklefield (Joel Sams), one thing you will notice about Oliver is his very posh voice and superior teeth (if you don’t notice this fact then Oliver will point this out, repeatedly). Oliver is part of a traveling theatre company and tells his own lifestory through the trials and tribulations of Tiny Tom (also played by Joel) and a host of other characters who bear resemblance to the kind so often encountered in Dickens’ novels.
Round the Twist is a play within a play. Tiny Tom, a strapping lad who earnt his “Tiny” nickname because of his small “testimonials” persues the affection of his heart Dorabella (played by Sally Ann Burnett and Gabrielle Douglas), the ward of Miss Haversack (Greg Wagland), throw in the schemeing Obadiah Snoop (superbly played by Zach Lee) who at one point morphs into a James Bond-style villain complete with cat! as well as Miss Moody Crumbles who secretly loves Tiny Tom, a motherly Foggotty, a doctor, a Jammy Dodger, a scotsman called Toss McCaber and a host of other characters (all superbly played by just a cast of five!).
The story is littered with references to Dickens style novels (you could play a game of “spot the novel” but I lost count as they came thick and fast). Some of the humour may go over the heads of really young audiences and while not being adult entertainment, it is aimed at a more older audience, that said it is safe and fun for all. The production is reminiscent of Michael Palin and Terry Jones “Ripping Yarns” of the mid-70s. However it goes beyond that and Ivan Cutting and the team at Eastern Angles have surpassed themselves once more.
Eastern Angles truly show the big boys how theatre can be a resounding success without fantastic multi-million pound special effects and all-star casts, that’s not to say that the cast in Round The Twist are not stars as each and everyone gives “gold-star” performances.
Would I recommend you to go see it? You’d be round the twist not too! Will you be able to see it? Well I understand that tickets are selling fast so make sure you book now.
– Mark Keable – Ipswich24 Magazine –
Round The Twist is at The Sir John Mills Theatre, Gatacre Road, Ipswich until 7th January, 2012. Then on tour around Suffolk /Cambridgeshire until 28th January 2012.
More information and booking EASTERN ANGLES WEBSITE» Box Office: 01473 211498
Photos courtesy of Mike Kwasniak.