By Georgia Barnett, third year English and Philosophy
Georgia Barnett reviews Pantosoc's 'perfect blend of history, comedy and farce'.
Dancing chickens, jumping arrows, a personified I-phone messenger and a pet rock. Pantosoc’s recent Christmas performance, George and The Dragon, is a perfect blend of history, comedy and farce. The script is endlessly witty and provocative, as epitomized by the reaction to the great fire; “when you said Bristol would be lit, I didn’t think this is what you meant”. It's brilliantly self-conscious throughout, with the characters continually interacting with their audience from the start.
"brilliantly self-conscious throughout"
The story-telling format is an exceptional platform to reinvent and modernise this classic story. By interweaving between the play’s present day and the past – distinguished efficiently through impressive features, such as the castle which departed from the actual stage – the performance holds its spectators endlessly intrigued by a double-narrative. The play's protagonists, such as George, Mary and the King, are truly sensational, along with the rest of the cast. Musical adlibs break up dialogue and are especially amusing, with songs such as ‘Pony’ enhancing the show’s promiscuous undertones.
“when you said Bristol would be lit, I didn’t think this is what you meant”
It's all very relevant – such as the camouflaged back stage crew pretending to be invisible – and allows for the spectator’s imagination to stretch beyond limits by not giving much away until the very conclusion. Audience members are drawn into the experience through the play’s creation of suspense, with the ending delivering a useful and didactic message without shoving it down the viewer's throat. The lighting and orchestrations are consistently on time, without being too rigid which would have detracted from the spectator’s ability to truly engage. The play ultimately has little limitations or flaws and is a true pleasure to watch. I’ll definitely be going to the next one, and recommend that you all do too!
(Featured image credits: Unsplash / Andrew Yardley)
What are your thoughts on Pantosoc's latest performance? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.