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Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha

Little Soldier Productions

Genre: Comedy, Drama



Low Down

Inspired by Don Quixote’s wanderings, two feisty senoritas and a downtrodden Englishman embark on a journey through medieval Spain taking on one of the most accomplished works of fiction ever written. Accompanied only by a flamenco guitarist whose presence there makes no sense whatsoever, they will lead you to joy, pain and ultimate wisdom.


 I sat in the front row and ended up covered in water. Somehow that seemed necessary, for I, as an audience member, have an important role to play in this hour of Quioxte episodes that were also a constant playful and dangerous dialogue with we, the audience, whose watching and listening were essential to this responsive band of storytellers, battling each other and us, to bring sense to the nonsense of the quests of this crazy hero.

Occasionally it all gets too chaotic in ways that don’t aid the narrative – and we do need to be able to follow at least some of the content of the "episodes". In a way we have a paradox, because to much structure will blow the whole concept. The strucutre needs to be hidden, only revealed when these three talented performers schoose to let us know their deeper motives (and they often do), and that structure is there, because we are in no doubt that these performers have crafted this work with much aplomb. 

Anarchic, funny, witty but always anchored back into the story and our hapless heroes, this really does lift Don Quioxte off the page and rams it into our faces and laps. Clown comedy, physical and verbal knockabout, music and set piece storytelling, we are taken through chosen episodes from the original large tome, and the whole proceedings are a delight. The performers work seamlessly together and their clashes and friction are all part of that cleverly done flow. With the audience on three sides of the space, there is plenty of opportunity for interaction and the involvement of audience feels natural and makes the stories even more enjoyable and accessible. Sure, you’ll feel lost in places, but this is a story cycle that is about adventures and journeys and journeys are about being lost some of the time as well.

Panto-feel, clown-feel, alternative comedy feel, it is all mixed together with traditional story feel into a delightful and often hilarious hour.