Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18), Edinburgh
Fri 3 – Mon 26 August 2018
Guest reviewer: Hugh Simpson
Michael Daviot’s Don Quixote Unbound at Sweet Grassmarket is a wonderfully involving, enchanting and thought-provoking example of the arts of storytelling and theatre-making.
The stories of the Spanish writer Cervantes and his most famous creation, the man who dreams of being a knight errant, are intertwined. Daviot differentiates them by the slightest changes in voice pitch and mannerism, just as the humblest of props are pressed into service seemingly naturally.
At times the switching from Cervantes to Quixote and back again threatens to become too mechanical, but this never quite happens.
Instead, Daviot and director Mark Kydd utilise considerable skill to keep things constantly fresh without ever appearing tricksy. Similarly, Roddy Simpson’s lighting and sound are never overbearing but always appropriate.
Points about identity and tolerance subtly but tellingly made; meditations on the importance of imagination – seemingly fragile, yet oddly persistent – are fitting. They not only chime with the source but reinforce the power that can make theatrical magic with a mop and a colander.
Daviot’s mastery of theatrical storytelling should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen him before, but anyone who hasn’t should be reassured that even if your only knowledge of Don Quixote is that it is something to do with windmills, you will still get a great deal from this.
Indeed, you will probably come out of it thinking you know a great deal about the subject – which is proof of the limpid expressiveness of the production.
Running time 1 hour (no interval)
Sweet Grassmarket (Venue 18), Apex Hotel, Grassmarket, EH1 2HS
Friday 3 – Sunday 26 August 2018
Daily at 3.40 pm
Book tickets on the Fringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/don-quixote-unbound