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Blog: I, Malvolio

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I had the afternoon off on Friday so I could go and see "I, Malvolio" at the Unicorn Theatre. We'd been firmly INSTRUCTED by the course that we HAD to go, as the writer/performer Tim Crouch is coming to talk to us soon, and rather than spend EVERY EVENING of MY LIFE out and about I thought I'd go an see an afternoon show. So I did.

I went with a bit of trepidation - last week I read his play "The Author" and though I liked some of it (it's done with TWO ranks of audience seating facing each other, with no stage in the middle, so the whole thing's in the audience, and seemed to be quite good fun) some of it (the "Shocking" parts and the whole It's A Play About Plays bit) I liked a bit less. I also went with some DIFFICULTY, as the theatre had used a "simplified" map to show you how to get to it.

VENUES! A "simplified" map of the area IS NO USE AT ALL when the actual AREA is not "simplified"

Anyway, I eventually found the theatre, had a bit of CAKE and then went into the SPACE to find Mr Crouch already in costume in character, watching us come in. I thought "Hmm, this may be a bit rum" but then BLOW ME but it started and went right ahead and was TOTALLY BRILLIANT! The Idea was that he was Malvolio from Twelfth Night, telling his side of the story, but as if he knew of life outside the play too. THUS he addressed the audience directly throughout, telling us off, taking the piss out of us, and getting Righteously Angry about his treatment. Which is fair enough really - they're HORRIBLE to Malvolio in that play and when we did it DECADES ago at Poly I do remember thinking it was all a bit nasty.

It was also very FUNNY - tho I think if the audience had been full of SCHOOLKIDS not being Theatre Respectful (as I think it more usually would be) then the LARFS would have been even MORE forthcoming. My FAVOURITE bits included him getting a small boy out of the audience to kick him (IE Malvolio) up the arse, or when he got a school girl to help him HANG himself. It was really really funny.

ALSO best bit was the ending, where he "revenged" himself on the audience by making us all sit there while he went off... and never came back. It was GRATE - everyone sat a little unsure, then tittering, then vaguely applauding and, eventually, wandered out.

Even typing this i am AWARE it made sound a bit annoying and THEATRE DARLING, but honest, it was FAB. This was also a SIGNED showing (i.e. for deaf people), so there was much HILARITY as he interacted with the signer, nearly bumping into her and instructing her to make sure we knew that his insults were directed at all of us. She was very GAME too, it was, as i say GRATE!

I emerged full of the joys of THEATRE, but feeling I really ought to go and get a dose of PROPER GIG before I went over to the other side completely. Luckily that was all booked for Saturday!

posted 30/10/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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