Arthur, the Story of a King
Colourful family-friendly production about the legendary king from theatre group Wee Stories
Nobody really knows for sure what King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table got up to – a fact quickly acknowledged by Wee Stories in its lively historical drama. Each book documents different facts and figures, so Wee Stories offer us ‘an interpretation’ from the ‘mystery of history’.
The result is a very full package of original music, memorable characters (largely made from cereal packs and candlesticks), accessible information and no small amount of silliness. Occasionally, it feels too much, and Wee Stories’ legendary narrative clarity becomes blurred. But such moments are brief and for the most part, each step of this epic journey is spelt out with witty dialogue and inventive staging.
References to celebrities from the past, when performers Andy Cannon, Iain Johnstone and Dave Trouton were at school, feel like an unnecessary way to keep the adults on-board – they’ve already got us hooked with the child-friendly stuff. As always with Wee Stories, the pace never drops and, to the backdrop of Trouton’s atmospheric music, Cannon and Johnstone embody one character after another with ease.
King Arthur may be a mystery, but after 90 minutes in Wee Stories’ company, we all feel as though we know him – and his colourful cast of family, friends and foes – a good deal better.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 22–Sat 24 Sep; Fri 30 Sep & Sat 1 Oct macrobert Stirling; Thu 13 Oct, Platform, Glasgow.