THEATRE REVIEW: Dead Dog In a Suitcase ★★★★★
Dead Dog In A Suitcase
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
17th October 2015
In my lifetime I've watched two Kneehigh productions, The Wild Bride and Rebecca, were those alone made me just fall in love with the company, as their storytelling to these adaptations were beautifully portrayed on stage and they really gripped me when on viewing, but on first glance, for once I was not sure how I was going to view Dead Dog In A Suitcase, as I felt like the knowing that it was based on the Beggar's Opera threw me as I am not a big fan of opera, but I knew I shouldn't of been worried, because after watching this adaptation from Kneehigh, I can definitely say that they did not disappoint, and that this production out of all those that they have produced is the one that I would thoroughly watch over and over!
There are so many places to start with this spectacular, but unusual I'll start with the end, which was possibly also the highlight of the production, because never have I seen a piece of theatre that made me lean back in my seat due to the climax of a production that Dead Dog produced! Saying anymore about this action would give away the element of surprise and ruin the sheer excellence of what is about to happen on stage, but all I will say is be prepared for something that you may have never imagined could be possible on stage.
Now let's move into the music, the thing that really defines Kneehigh to any other theatre company in my opinion, and in this case, I have a mixed reaction to. I am set to have a second viewing of the production at a later venue in Warwick, but right now I feel as some of the songs were lost amongst others, but nevertheless each song really told a different part of the story and completely fitted in with the action, with ‘Take Me Somewhere Far Away’, sung by Macheath, Polly Peachum and Company, being the highlight piece of this production!
The set was incredibly clever also, allowing all the actors to move around with ease, though this may have come from the constant Performances, and what I loved especially was the fact that no actor left the stage, but instead would stand behind the set, where you could see all the props and set, given the audience an insight into how the production ran when the actors were offstage.
The comedy elements was also perfect, really giving every character their chance to shine in a terrifically casted adaptation, and also the way you had to constantly keep up with which character was holding the Suitcase containing the deceased dog was also another mystery which you could really have a lot of fun with guessing!
Overall, Dead Dog In a Suitcase was an incredible production which showcased Theatre at its best, but also propelled by a stunning cast of multi-talented actors!