Ringmaster is a devised production from Network Theatre Company based on La Ronde.
Ringmaster is less traditional, it moves away from the character’s occupations . As a 21st century play it looks as all aspects of sexuality (though some may argue it focuses on the binary rather than the pan) and the emotions and technology that come with it.
The Ringmaster is our narrator (Emily Bates), a nice device that works well to introduce the characters and set the scene and breaks the fourth wall, as she alludes to her own heartbreak as is puppet master as relationships evolve and dissolve in front out our eyes.
Despite being a play about sex as the Ringmaster says “Everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power” and the simple choreography suggests eroticism, sub/dom relationships and the complexities of sex and love. All the cast gave strong performances as these lost souls, it was nice to see international members of the cast, (Eimear Lacey as Rosie and Guillaume Lannes as Merlin) show a true representation of London and their scenes about bisexuality were thoughtful.
The production had a lot of warmth and humour, not afraid to be sexy but also not afraid to show how awkward sex can be. Dom Thomson as Charlie, the Labour MP looking for a man on Grindr describing his idea of “fun” as playing badminton to the baffled but sympathetic Jamie (Matt Patridge) was hilarious.
I look forward to seeing what this company has to offer and I hope they continue to put a modern spin on the classics.
|Alex Farrell||Assistant Director|
|Agnes Rivet||Assistant Director|
|Louie Renna||Stage Manager|
|Mike Wyer||Sound Design|
|Paul Evans||Lighting Design|
|Susan Small||Production Assistant|
Ringmaster was on until 26 January https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/ringmaster/