Gareth Charlton: Kneehigh in Minneapolis

Gareth Charlton: Kneehigh in Minneapolis

a guest blog from Gareth Charlton, member of the Tristan & Yseult company at the Guthrie, Minneapolis


The coldest place you have ever been, then twice as cold. Industrial flats with vintage signs side the frozen Mississippi. Mountains of ice turned snow hide the edges of each street. Every walk is an eyelash freezing slide, crispy frosted scarves hiding wind pricked faces. You only forget the thermals once...

The Guthrie Theatre, from another world planted in the middle. More steel than the Eiffel Tower, Bridges that float, picture postbox windows, neon pillar T&Y signs that tower to the skies, three stages and a yellow glass box. Surreal, Ghostly, Splendid. Home for five weeks.

Sledging, snow drift dives and dumps, snowball fights and big booted walks... Spot the tourists, flappy hats our distinguishing guise. No one else to see, cars and skywalks hide the initiated. We play, we tumble, we trudge frozen lakes, fingers firmly crossed for the frozen.

Beneath my window America bulldozes through the snow, Pick-up ploughs keep the city slipping by to its Tom Waits beat. Bright white snow hides the dirt beneath.

Sunday morning wide awake to a bomb blast start. A stadium needs replacing, it must be almost old. It violently then gently diminishes, each day a little less, complete on our arrival it'll be gone as we go. Hell of a countdown.

Tristan & Ysuelt in Minneapolis - photo by Gareth Charlton

Every trip out of doors requires layers of prep, flats become stir-crazy prisons, the Winter Olympics long since ticked by. What happened to our Californian wanderlust? Fight the freeze - must do things; the Mall of America (has roller coasters), Timberwolves Basketball games, yoga, music shop hunts, supper club, brunch and a dinky town.

The winter is breaking. Trucks piled high with snow to hide have dwindled, a constant drip drip ticks a beat as the snow reveals its dirty secrets. Hibernated joggers break cover and sing Spring has sprung. In a day the thermals are laid to rest. Sleep, cook, show, play, sleep, cook, show, play....

Kneehigh in Minneapolis- photo by Gareth Charlton

Kneehigh in Minneapolis - photo by Gareth Charlton


Tristan & Yseult

Tristan & Yseult

"If this show doesn't make you fall in love with theatre, there's no potion on Earth that can help you." ***** The Guardian

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