The Hunchback of Notre Dame, St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden - ★★★★☆ - Until September 1, 2019


What a lovely way to spend a summer's night! The Iris Theatre uses the gardens of St. Paul's church as a set and takes us back to Paris in the middle ages. Indeed, the spirit of a medieval theatrical production is invoked as the audience moves around the gardens to follow the twists and turns of Hugo's sweeping 19th century novel about social injustice. This is interactive theatre and the audience is involved and invited to participate in the haunting story of Esmeralda and Quasimodo. You may not want to be the goat! All of the cast perform multiple roles and also act as the production's orchestra, and they all do an excellent job of engaging us in the humour and horror of this tale. Darrie Gardner stands out as Sister Gudule and Katie Tranter undertakes some gender changes with complete credibility. Robert Rhodes' Quasimodo is suitably sympathetic. Izzy Jones is a fine Esmeralda and Max Alexander-Taylor is both naïve and calculating as Ettienne and Phoebus. Ed Bruggemeyer creates a suitably sinister Frollo. The need for voice projection and clear articulation is a challenge in this setting, and particularly if the audience is to follow Hugo's convoluted plot, but the actors do a commendable job. This is great entertainment and a wonderful chance to visit St. Paul's, The Actors' Church.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆★ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until September 1, 2019
Various show times available. See website below.
St. Paul's Church, Covent Garden
Nearest tube: Covent Garden

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