Saturday, May 25

Horse Country – Assembly George Square Studios

Roll up! Roll up! Let’s talk car sales, magic tricks, Piaget, coercion and bedroom slippers. If you like your theatre slick, then Horse Country, directed by Mark Bell and featuring Daniel Llewelyn-Williams and Michael Edwards of Flying Bridge Theatre Company is for you.

Fast paced and jam-packed with allusions to well-kent faces, films, songs and writers (Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller and F.Scott-Fitzgerald come to mind), this ode to The American Dream with all its frailties is crafted for speed and requires quality performers to do it justice. C J Hopkins has written both character, Sam and Bob, with boundless energy and buzz. They spend their time trying not to address the underlying issues of a macho, capitalist society while constantly talking around the issues of oppression, domination, conflict and the rousing qualities of competition and winning.

It is a tapestry of ideas: art to reassure ourselves rather than challenge us; words replacing the true essence of things; pacify the masses with what they want; why fixing things is too hard. What have we lost along the way?

How? It’s a question they ask from all angles. Yet they never probe deeply. Is that the message? They ask that question too – what is the message? The dialogue is delivered as the flight of a bullet. Another apt symbol for America. Shoot first, talk later. This play shoots from the lip.

The physical theatre is wonderful with Sam falling on his arse more than once. The bedroom slippers are a perfect choice of footwear for men who don’t adventure in anything more than their imaginations. The simple set, lighting and sound effects make a sparse backdrop to quickfire dialogue. Presented by Guy Masterson – Theatre Tours International Ltd. Horse Country is set to travel this autumn: Savoy Theatre, Monmouth; Blackwood Miners Institute; Abergavenny Borough Theatre; Torch, Milford Haven; Theatre Clwyd.

Three Things about Flying Bridge Theatre

Truth

We want to hold a mirror up to life and expose truth and untruth and inequality.

Provocation

Good theatre should be “about” something – should prompt a change of perspective, a new direction.

Inspiration

We want our work to inspire others to make great social art, to continue a conversation that we are a proud part of.

Reviewer: Kathleen Mansfield

Reviewed: 29th August 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★

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