"IT’S hard to find an adequate superlative to describe this stunning explosion of theatrical pyrotechnics currently playing at Liverpool’s beautifully revamped Everyman Theatre." *****
"IBased on John Gay’s 1728 satire The Beggars Opera, Dead Dog In A Suitcase is a morality tale for today.
Like his contemporary William Hogarth’s series of paintings Modern Moral Subjects, Gay’s work wallows in the sewers of political and corporate corruption. While today we have no equivalent to Hogarth in the art world, writer Carl Grose’s 21st-century re-working of that opera is still a worthy successor to Gay.
It’s performed by the excellent Kneehigh, deservedly recognised as Cornwall’s unofficial national theatre company, in a spectacular cocktail of song, dance, puppetry and great comedy acting.
Michael Vale’s imaginative set creates a playground for the actors as they slide down poles, climb across gantries and create a complex labyrinth reflecting the tumultuous life inhabited by an array of misfits.
The cast are jaw-droppingly good in switching roles, playing an array of musical instruments and creating a madcap world of low-life criminals, dangerously dodgy politicians and beautifully wicked, greedy entrepreneurs.
There’s a great updated score too by Charles Hazelwood, ranging from two-tone to punk and heavy metal, with some beautifully smooth instrumental sequences.
And there’s a hilarious pastiche of Ian Drury that would have had the the old punk smiling with delight.
Throughout, Punch and Judy puppets keep up a highly comic running commentary as events unfold but, just as you think things could not become any zanier, the play builds to one of the most spectacular theatrical climaxes you’ll witness this summer.
Patrycja Kujawska, a magnificent violinist, whips up a frenzy that explodes in a haze of smoke and light.
As the mist descends, the audience — like seals surfacing from the deep ocean —jump to their feet in a chorus of cheering and clapping
Magnificent stuff. If you can get to Liverpool, then go to the Everyman before this spectacle leaves town. "