Part hilarious farce, part historical costume drama, part drawing on the tradition of Greek tragedy and part musical theatre, the whole mix of styles in Roar works wonderfully well. Set in the 17th Century London, the basic story is the conflict between the pleasure-seeking Moll Cutpurse who is leading a revolt against the austerity imposed by John Popham, the Lord High Chancellor.
In the first of many twists and turns, unknown to Popham, he and Moll are brother and sister. Moll seeks revenge for being abandoned at birth by their rogue of a father. Her brother received all the privileges of wealth whilst she and her mother were left without any support.
All the cast are splendid; Moll played by Fiona Hampton as the raunchy and devious young woman, Ed Hancock as the pompous Popham and Lucy Pearman as Popham’s love stricken wife. The three principals are given strong support by Lotte Allan, Hester Bond, Nicola Cutcher and Jack Cole who had a hand in writing the play along with sound man Jack Howson and Oliver Bennett. The four supporting performers provide much of the humour as they alternate between Moll’s debauched followers and Popham’s ineffectual judges.
Director Michael Bryher and the technical crew deserve mention for giving clarity to the fast paced, continuous action, and also not forgetting Rollo Clarke for his musical input. This is the first time I have seen a Dumbshow Company production and I applaud their values in staging good, clear storytelling theatre.
Reviewed by Ben
C+1, Chambers Street: 34
3 to 29 August 2011 (not 16)
20.45 – 22.00
Fringe Programme Page Number: 293