(reviewed at the Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich on 1 June)
Lost Dog bills Ben Duke’s show as based on Milton’s epic poem. You can add a brisk canter through both the Old and New Testaments to that, though owing more to Monty Python than to Wycliffe or Thomas Cranmer. Duke begins with the sort of faux-naïf introduction which always sets my teeth on edge; there’s an art to pretend bumbling which he hasn’t yet quite mastered.
It all takes a long time to get going with musical snatches of everything from Handel to Philip Glass via Richard Strauss and Janis Joplin played at a near-ear splitting volume. The water deluge is effective (one feels heartily relieved not to be on the stage management team for this show) and so is some of the subversion of received texts.
Unfortunately it’s not always clear just what the individual mime sequences are meant to represent. The running time is something over an hour; someone needs to cast a cold directorial eye on the piece – and then wield a sharp pair of scissors.
Pulse continues in Ipswich at various venues until 6 June.