Thursday, March 19, 2015

from Minsk with love... and apples

There's not much I can tell you about The Harvest at Bath's Ustinov studio theatre. Playwright Pavel Pryazhko comes from Belarus, which since the breakup of the USSR still suffers under authoritarian government so it might be a political parody, though it also has enough physical comedy to be an affectionate homage to the silent movies... (Gavin, Smithy, and Stacey could all find jobs in this orchard, one feels.) It could be an imaginary prequel to Waiting for Godot when the tramps were young and had not only work but girlfriends.  Or it may even be a commentary on the disaffection from their landscape of the younger generation, as this quartet seem to find natural actions hard to grasp but are quickly articulate about their allergies and ailments. The reason I can't tell you much, though, isn't analysis but spoilers: it would spike your absolute delight in the clever interaction between the actors and their set and props as their fear of bad apples grows and their attempt to fix the rotten crates intensifies (see point one above).
All I can say is that the four actors ~ Dafydd Llyr Thomas, Beth Park, Dyfan Dwyfor, & Lindsey Campbell ~ are outstanding, the orchard set designed by Madeleine Girling is awesome, Michael Boyd's direction is great, the stage hands deserve a bonus, and a lot of apples were harmed in the making of this story. An hour of zestful fun that sends you home reflective, go see before 11th April. 

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