This classic swashbuckling tale is brought to life in a mix of audio play and animation. Add to that a sprinkling of “behind the scenes” moments as the company present their production “Live” online. It is guaranteed to raise a smile.
Alongside the main tale there is a sub story of a small theatre company putting on the audio play. This makes room for some of the comedy as the script writing by David Du Lesley (played by Anthony Eden) gives rise to issues from the cast and guest Narrator Robert Lindsey has plenty to say to the hapless Director/Writer/Actor David. There are also humorous topical references relating to online meetings. These fleeting nods are eased in beautifully without referring to the “current situation”.
Although the animation is billed as optional, it adds another dimension to the piece. Initially you will notice that there are no people in the animation, but this allows you to create that image in your head and also to fully enjoy the rest of the details of the animation. Some of the scenes are extremely detailed, the ports and the musketeers training yard especially, nearly all have little visual jokes. The animations are colourful and a joy to look at as they transport you into the story.
With a small cast there is some doubling up of characters, which in an audio play can be confusing but the definition of each character is clear. Robert Lindsey adds a touch of gravitas as the Narrator as he tries to keep everyone professional. Dianne Pilkington plays Sarah Noble who in turn plays Milady De Winter with cunning and charm and swiftly changes to a Cardinals Guard. Another West End Alumni is David Bedella, his character (Josh Hemingway) plays the King and Porthos (both with an obsession for pockets) his voice is perfect for audio plays. As previously mentioned, Anthony Eden tries as David Du Lesley to lead the piece, he captures the manner of frustrated director to a T. Matthew Curnier, Sarah Kameela Impey and Lydea Perkins voice all of the other characters will equal skill.
This online farce retells a traditional story in a new and interesting way. The animation, the snippets of “real life” between the action and the audio play combine to create a great 70 minutes of entertainment.
Tickets for this show are being sold by a number of partnering theatres across the UK to support them financially through this difficult time Theatre Royal Winchester; Epsom Playhouse; Lighthouse, Poole; Concordia Theatre, Hinckley; Mull Theatre; The Forum Theatre, Northallerton; The Savoy Theatre, Monmouth; The Beggars Theatre, Millom; Blue Orange Theatre, Birmingham; Hertford Theatre; The Quarry Theatre, Bedford; Stamford Arts Centre; The Holroyd, Shropshire; The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering; Helmsley Arts Centre, York; and Waterside, Manchester.
Available online from 15th – 27th June 2021 https://musketeersonline.com/
Reviewer: Annette Nuttall
Reviewed: 15th June 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★