6th October 2013.
What does one do when faced with a long wait for a train home from a weekend of non-stop theatre and workshops with NAYD Young Critics at the Dublin Theatre Festival? Perhaps you would go do a spot of shopping, walk around the city, grab a bite to eat and relax after the weekend or, if you are me, you go see another play!
“A Feast of Bones” is an excellent piece of theatre from Theatre Lovett. A play for both children and adults like no other, it is a dark yet wonderfully funny play that is beautifully written by Frances Kay. Based on the story of Henny Penny by Walter de la Mare, this play tells the tale of the revenge of Henny Penny. Set in 1918, the play ties together the story of Henny Penny and her friends’ misguided journey to tell the King the sky was falling that led them into the jaws of the fox to the first world war, the waste of life and misery experienced by the soldiers.
We enter the world of “Le Monde Boulversé” with a song and travel through the story with many more jaunty, haunting and melodious tunes which bring a life and flair to the stage that draws the audience into the tale instantly. On this high note (pun intended!) the action begins as the ravenously hungry Mr. Renard enters the restaurant “Le Monde Boulversé”. Mr. Renard, brilliantly played by Louis Lovett, provides many belly laughs, giggles and chuckles. He combines slapstick, puns, humorous comments and audience interaction while preparing to eat his dinner.
Playing opposite him is the excellent Lisa Lambe as Henny Penny, a waitress who is as mysterious and refined as Mr. Renard seems transparent and daft. This stark contrast between the characters, coupled with the exquisite musical talents of Messrs. Nico Brown and Martin Brunsden gives an atmosphere of mystery and danger that tells us the, while we are laughing our socks off at the escapades of Mr. Renard, all is not well. The first course arrives with the information that it is best served cold, and so the play takes on a darker twist as Henny Penny serves up a generous helping of revenge to the fox Mr. Renard.
Henny Penny’s delicacy may be cold, but the play certainly is not. From the brilliant and innovative music making by Brown and Brunsden to the excellent acting of Lovett and Lambe and from the well designed, atmospheric lighting plot to the beautiful set, Theatre Lovett’s production of “A Feast of Bones” is a fantastic feast for the imagination that is a pleasure to watch.