I saw the play Hoodwinked at the Pavilion last night. It’s a wonderful venue, an intact 1921 cinema.

Here are some photographs I took.

Unfortunately I can’t provide a link with the blurb, because as soon as a run finishes the Pav remove the listing from their website. So you’ll have to make do with my review. 🙂

I was completely lost at the beginning, but “being lost at the beginning” made sense as the play unfolded. I won’t attempt to describe what it was about, because that is clear from the press releases. But I will say that the unique form of the work served the theme perfectly. Writer/ director Helen Kavanagh-Ronan deployed the power of the sung and spoken word with great skill. The production values were in no way a compromise.

Each character was strongly portrayed. Tadgh Hickey was frightening as the asexual character but by the end he left us with a heartfelt statement. At times he reminded me of Jack Nickolson’s joker, but mostly his acting was highly original. His powerful singing voice was moving and impressive. FionnBarra created an innocent, eventually corrupted. This was reflected in his “West End” style vocals, delivered with great passion. Bertie Brosnan’s character was powerfully rooted in the stereotype and his rapping was impressive. Even though the play was set in a realm not of this Earth, the actors each injected a huge level of passion to their characters and their interactions.

Exit Pursued by a Bear the “house band” created music unique to each character, really getting under the skin of each one so that the music was like three supporting actors.

The overall production was of a high standard, although I felt occasionally there were errors with positioning of spot lights on characters. Often a PA system can be a distraction, but here the sound was natural, clarity and balance excellent. Given that there was only one technician/ designer/ operator, sound and light showed superb effort and care, and can only improve with the budget.

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