BY JOHN CHRISTOPHER WOOD
This one-man, but multi-character play, written and performed by Mark Carey (though partially also written by William Shakespeare) contains multitudes. It's a demonstration of acting skill; it's a resume of the Bard's Henry V; it's a commentary on 4 wars - the Boer one, Wolrd Wars One and Two, and the Hundred Years war, it's at once anti-war and pro-war; and also obliquely references the performers' own family.
Where to start? The conceil of the play centres around the character of George Crocker, an odd-job man livng in Devon in 1943, who, without any acting exprience, joins his local drama group and is involved in its production of Henry V.
There's a magnificently old-school thespian director, a village idiot who's actually a savant; a nice lady who makes costumes and plays the love interest in this play and in Henry V; a mad choleric and drunken retired major and more.
Carey jumps between these characters with consummate skill, in a performance which encompasses comedy, pathos, rage and poignancy, punctuated with the beauty of Shakespeare's own lyricism and bombast.
Altogether a remarkable and highly original piece of theatre.
THE LOFT THEATRE
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THE STRATFORD HERALD
BY SANDY HOLT
"Into a thousand parts divide one man!" - this could describe Mark Careys' one man show.
The show focuses on Shakespeares' Henry V but revolves around George Crocker an amateur actor whose ambition is to play Mother Goose. This may seem a light folly but this play written, directed and acted by Carey, is full of substance.
Carey knows his Shakespeare. The clever script is full of references to the Bard. We see themes of war, death, love, power, comedy and tragedy and an acute observation of character.
Carey neatly ties in his own family story, mainly his grandfathers' experiences and the colourful characters he met.
This year being the 100th anniversary of the first world war, the play seems even more poignant but the magic of the show is how Carey pitches it. Set in a Devonshire village, the simple set allows the actor to pop behind a screen
to transform his character.
What is remarkable is that despite being played by the same person, each character takes on his or her own identity in a thoroughly believable way.
Carey certainly has talent. This show will make you laugh, cry and enjoy a debate on Shakespeare.