THEATRE REVIEW: Dead Dog in a Suitcase ★★★★★

Dead Dog In a Suitcase
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Tuesday 25th - Saturday 29th June 2019

Back in October 2015, when Kneehigh were last at The Everyman with Dead Dog in a Suitcase, we described the production as 'theatre at its best', and nearly four years later, all those emotions and jaw dropping moments again we're relived, especially having seen the show three times at this current point, if not enhanced more this time around due to its skillful casting additions.

(In this review we'll be discussing this current version of the tour. To read our more in-depth review from back in 2015, click here)

Taking over the roles of Filch and Polly Peachum in this adaption, are the two newest additions to the Kneehigh Company, Georgia Frost and Angela Hardie respectfully. The role of Filch, though described as a male in the show, is stunningly portrayed by Georgia, fresh from wowing audiences alike in A Monster Calls last year, and here shows no sign in stopping with her detailed and specific mannerisms mixed with her heavenly vocals, wether that may be in the ensemble or as a solo artist, allowing her riffs to escape and mesmerise with ease.

Angela Hardie's portrayal of Polly brings so much depth and layering, something Carly Bawden exquisitely excelled at in the original run, that her rendition 'Take me Somewhere Far Away' is taken to another level, with jaw dropping silence from the audience digesting her every word, especially when intertwined beautifully with Dominic Marsh's husked voice, something which made the original run of this production so memorable! Hardie's versatility to allow Peachum's journey to develop from a timid and niave young girl bowled over by love to slowly become sickened by the feeling as we head into the final act, is artfully judged and you can see you see the enjoyment being had by Hardie, especially in the latter development of Polly.

Overall, having seen this vibrant new version of Dead Dog In a Suitcase with additional casting, taking over the roles made famous by the ever growing talent of Audrey Brisson, nothing from this version has dampened our original love for this macabre extravaganza, if anything it has enhanced the emotion felt all those years ago. To this day we describe Dead Dog in a Suitcase as one of our all-time favourite productions due to its expansive lighting, set and puppetry designs, as well as the originality in musical and casting choices, and this shows no sign of slowing down after this latest visit.


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