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★★★★ Reviews, Other Thoughts and the Start of the Tour After a Fortnight at the Dukes

28th October 2014 by Morven Macbeth

Well I never did.

It’s been an incredible and incredibly full couple of weeks and we’re all chuffed to bits to be honest with the feedback we’ve had from the audiences at the Dukes. Very good houses to boot, full or nearly full for much of the run, which was a great start to the autumn tour of A Farewell to Arms.

The reviews haven’t been half bad either. Do we care? Course we do – well, some of us do. Some of us genuinely don’t want to know. But if a good review encourages more people to come and see our work then that’s alright by me (as they say in Twitland: ‘views are mine and mine alone’ etc)

Here are a few of my favourite comments, some from reviews, some made by the Dukes audience members:

“Such a confident conflation between text and technology suggests that imitating the dog is not only a company without imitators, it is currently without peer.”

full review here

A Farewell to Arms is a brilliant fusion of digital and theatrical techniques which does justice to Hemingway’s novel and pulls you urgently into its pages…Not for the faint-hearted but an absolute must-see.”

full review here

“I was blown away by the performance. A marriage of film and theatre drama, it stirred very powerful emotions.”

(audience member comment)

“to adapt (the novel) for the stage, imitating the dog applies its always impressive – and sometimes jaw-droppingly effective – fusion of video, film footage, stage design and original music, to create a magnificent piece of highly emotional and emotive theatre.”

full review here

“This is not theatre.”

(audience member comment)

“Tosh. Total tosh.”

(audience member comment)

I’ll stop there for this blog purposes but you get the idea. I reckon that’s a fairly representative mix.

I’ve read the novel at least eight times now and would like to think the adaptation we’ve made would meet Ernest Hemingway’s approval. imitating the dog makes work that will never please all of the people, all of the time. Pete always says that we make the work we want to make and if the time ever came when we tried to make work other people wanted us to make, to second guess what that might be, we’d be stuffed. We’ve made a piece of theatre we wholeheartedly believe in, that we’re proud of and I for one am hugely looking forward to being on the road, starting at Cast in Doncaster this week then on to Ipswich New Wolsey 4th – 8th Nov, The Lowry in Salford Quays 13th – 15th Nov, Birmingham Rep 19th – 22nd Nov, The Old Market, Brighton 27th – 29th Nov then off to Italy for a fortnight performing in Rome, Ancona, Terni and Bergamo. Home in time for Christmas.

Hope to see you at one of the above, come and say hello as we’re always – yes, always – in the bar after.

Morven

2 responses to “★★★★ Reviews, Other Thoughts and the Start of the Tour After a Fortnight at the Dukes”

  1. Louise says:

    Just returned home after having had a fabulous evenings entertainment at the New Wolsey theatre. Farewell to Arms was amazing – a spellbinding piece of theatre. I loved it – I didn’t want it to finish. The set, the music, projections, camera work were inventive and emotive but the acting was what really made the production so awesome. What a talented bunch of young (and the more ‘experienced’!) actors . Thank you it was a priveledge to be there.

  2. Jacqy says:

    I love Hemmingway’s writing and your adaptation of a Farewell to Arms was brilliant. I loved the set, use of video and film ,projection of the maps ,sound and all the languages. The escape scene in the rowing boat was very powerful and the scene in the hospital was incredibly moving. Great American accent from Jude too. Good luck with the rest of the tour and keep visiting Brighton with your new ventures.

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