Jermyn Street Theatre, London – until 31 March 2018
Try for a moment to imagine what might have happened if celebrated poet WH Auden and Berlin-conceiver of Cabaret’s Sally Bowles, Christopher Isherwood, had together written ‘The League of Gentlemen’, in rhyme, and you might begin to see where Proud Haddock is heading with The Dog Beneath the Skin.
In the sleepy German dorf of Pressan Ambo, while Deutschland sleepwalks its way to disaster in the early 1930s, uneasy magical realism and cosy amber-lit domesticity provide a backdrop to an odd tale of a competition to find a husband for the village heiress. Local women for local people.
The man appointed to the quest (Pete Ashmore) pursues it in the company of an anthropoid dog, winningly portrayed by Cressida Bonas, while everyone else covers a multitude of characters, and the script is delivered in often comical lyric verse.
It’s like nothing else you’ll see in London at the moment, and as a piece of vintage theatre, as well as vintage poetry, may well be worth a look.