Saturday 11th October 2003

Jill Williams 

Red shift Theatre Company has lived up to its reputation for groundbreaking modern drama with The Legend of King Arthur.

A packed theatre saw the age-old story recreated using rhythmic music and martial arts.

These conveyed the mystical atmosphere that surrounded the baby who grew up to draw the sword excalibur from the stone and become King of Britain.

The plot unfolds in a series of flashbacks, as King Arthur lies mortally wounded after combat with his own son, Mordred.

On a set that is stylish in it's simplicity, the cast works in the light and shadows, moving through a series of dance sequences to great dramatic effect.

The martial arts, although cleverly combined with the words and music, were unconvincing and require more polish.

With a cast of only six, each playing up to five characters without any change of costume, there is inevitably some confusion about who is who.

As the tale moves through the rise and fall of Arthur's kingdom, the knights shed their striking red and white costumes and don the dull grey suits of the ministers who sit at the Round Table debating how to maintain peace.

All is shattered though as the sins of the past - lust, adultery, incest - reappear.



THE HERALD, Scotland
12th November 2003

Keith Bruce

"...a superb piece of storytelling that manages to include just about every element of every version of the Arthur story from its pagan beginnings, through its French romantic additions, to the quest for the Holy Grail".