Monday, 7 May 2012

Kneehigh Review

Hey guys!
So, 6 months ago we have been to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to see Kneehighs "The Wild Bride".
I hope you enjoy reading my opinion.

I went to watch “The Wild Bride” by Kneehigh Theatre Company. I saw it in the West Yorkshire Playhouse which has a reputation, nationally and internationally, for the most exciting theatre groups. Kneehigh performed their piece in the courtyard (350 seats). The courtyard is a small and intimate theatre. In this theatre it is easier to build up a relationship with the characters. I love the courtyard because it makes you feel more involved with the play.

Emma Rice directed the play in a lovely way, leaving much space for interpretation for the audience. The play is hilariously funny and at some points also very touching and sad. The Cornish based theatre company has, as usual, accompanied their play with lots of music.

When I walked in I was disappointed; I expected a much more exciting set. The first thing I saw was ladders. But after a few seconds, more and more details gained my attention. The ladders were forming an old tree and the longer I was looking at the “tree” the more confused I got if the branches were real wood, or ladders...or something else. At the ceiling and I saw little wreaths which were attached to nylon strings.
I liked the idea of a split screen. I liked it how they used it by having the devil most of the time on top of the tree and the other actors on the bottom. That indicated that the devil was able to see everything. Bill Mitchell was the set designer and he is world famous for his sets. 

The Father, the Devil and the set in the background 

The atmosphere was amazing. The air was filled with amusing laughter and discussions about the set. Everybody was excited about what’s going to happen and then it started. This play was one of the most amazing plays I have seen. My favorite actor was Audrey Brisson. She played the young bride and she made me forget all of my sorrows because she was acting with such a delight that everyone was focused on her. When she danced, she danced with delight; when she sung, she sung with soul and when she acted, she acted with all of her heart. The play is worth watching because you get a glance of everything. You even get to see artistic cirque de soleil skills performed by Brisson.
My favorite part of the show, were the songs. Even if you are not into musicals you should still go and watch this play because the songs are unique and of deep meaning. Brisson’s voice is one of the most amazing I have heard and it fills your heart with delight when you hear her sing. Patrycia Kujawska played the violin. Her playing was incredible! When I heard her play I thought I was at a violin concert. Just because of her playing, it was worth the money. 

The style of the play was story telling. I really liked it because it was a good way of telling a story and this made it also suitable for children. The story was told in a lovely way. At the beginning the actors did a dance with three books saying “The Wild Bride”. This dance was accompanied by a lovely fairytale music which makes you forget all your problems.

The actors’ actions were simple but effective. Rice used loads of physical theatre and dance in this piece which encouraged us to think about the background and the meaning of the play. We talked about this in school and many of us agreed that it was quite confusing at some points. Especially about the dances; many people were confused what they might suggest and we had many opinions about it. I had the opinion that one of the dances suggested the birth of the bride’s child but we were unsure about that.

Something I really liked, were the special effects they used. Most of the things which were happening happened on stage. For example, when the father cut his daughters hands of. I think this drew the audience even more into the play because they feel as part of the play. However, sometimes it seemed to be a bit too much pantomime style, for example, the prince asked the audience: “Whole stole my pears”, it seemed a bit “cheap”. That it didn’t really suit that play. But you still shouldn’t hesitate to go and watch it because all the other special effects are stunning. It made me feel like I am part of the play. 

Another thing which was really nice was the pulley system they used. They used that system to let props down from the ceiling. It was so fascinating because it happened in front of our eyes. 
It was so fascinating because you usually don’t see how things are being moved on stage. But because here you see every single thing you get to appreciate every detail and you know how much work goes into it. 

Kneehigh didn’t play around with the lighting and sound effect very much. They just sometimes dimmed the lights or had blackouts. And the sound was mostly made by the actors on stage. I think that the play did not need any extra special effects because it would have ruined the simple but effective style of Kneehigh. 

The costumes were simple and didn’t really indicate a period of time the play could have been set in. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about the play because it gave me so much to think about. One week after I watched it, I was still thinking about the different interpretations of the dances and songs. The play makes you laugh and cry at the same time but mostly smile. It is just full of emotions feelings. It is very Grimm but who doesn’t love fairy tales? It is suitable for children but it also uses adult humour. I was able to laugh about everything I think that everyone else will come smiling out of the theatre. So if you haven’t watched it, I would strongly recommend that you hurry up so you will perceive those unique emotions. 

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