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David Porter » Reviews » The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

National Theatre of Scotland’s Prudencia Hart
NUCA Bar, Norwich

Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 15 May 2012.

In Prudencia Hart, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 12 fringe got off to a brilliantly surreal start.

The National Theatre of Scotland’s ambition is to transform the world in dreams and drama, ‘to make incredible things happen in unbelievable places’.

The Norwich University College of the Arts bar is a gem of theatrical possibilities, up dangerous stairs, ideal for a theatre of the imagination, theatre without walls.

And The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart was a piece of unspecific site performance, ideally suited to venue on and around the tables and audience.

Sponsored by Benromach whisky, there was a free dram for everyone. The play was about a girl who was a collector of traditional folk music, told in narrative folk ballad form of rhyming couplets and interspersed with live Gaelic music.

It was a fantasy tale of the Devil’s ceilidh, a snowy midwinter heaven and hell story where Old Nick, the collector of souls, fell in love with Prudencia. In escaping the topography of hell, it became anarchic theatre.

The intimacy and proximity of actors/musicians made it both moving and funny with comedy and satire along the way. It was a journey into the mind that was well worth taking.

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