Wednesday, 31 January 2018

"Anyway, Bernard, reproduction 'orse brasses was used by 19th century shire ponies and 'ave no relevance whatsoever to medieval courtly life!"



"Anyway, Bernard, reproduction 'orse brasses was used by 19th century shire ponies and 'ave no relevance whatsoever to medieval courtly life!"

The National Theatre Of Brent is one of those well-kept secrets that definitely deserves a wider audience. It consists of a small band of performers but they aim high. And it's the range of their spectacular failures that demonstrate their genius.

The NTOB was founded by its Artistic Director Desmond Olivier Dingle (as portrayed by Patrick Barlow) and his entire acting company - one middle-aged bloke. Over time, this latter role has consisted of various rather confused assistants including Bernard (Robert Austin), Wallace (Jim Broadbent) and Raymond (John Ramm).



We've been lucky enough to see them in the flesh twice (three times if you count the day Desmond was at Bath doin' some readin's from his book 'All The World's A Globe'). The first time was specially memorable, when Lisa actually got involved in the production of 'The Messiah' and had to look after an imaginary donkey. Like you do. And yes, I was very jealous of her good fortune!

Sadly, little of their TV material is readily available, unless you do the online searchin'. We'd snap up a DVD release of 'Mighty Moments From World History' or 'Massive Landmarks Of The 20th Century'. Their radio extravaganzas sometimes turn up on the BBC iPlayer and are well worth lendin' a ear to.



For our feature on them , we chose their examination of King Arthur, which is fairly typical of their style. They done a bit of filmin' outside, much to the bewilderment of passers-by. They done some audience participation stuff and they done a bit where Bernard had to do some divin' but was worried about gettin' the bends.



Some of it is a mad as a brush, and some of it is sheer folly in the scale of its ambition. And now and then it'll surprise you by havin' a scene that is both tender and touchin'...



In short, hurrah for The National Theatre Of Brent and how it is done!

(By Andrew Trowbridge)

No comments:

Post a Comment

We're Feeling All Decorative

We're Feeling All Decorative We haven't got the Christmas tree up yet, but in an unexpected development, Martin has provided the...