Ben-Hur, Rugby Theatre, to April 15.
Based on the 1880 book by Lew Wallace and the Charlton Heston film from 1959, this version written by Patrick Barlow takes on the task of featuring thrilling sea battles and chariot races with a cast of 4!
The play opens with the audience being introduced to the cast, and it looks as though it is going to be a very amateurish production. The actors get their lines muddled and even seem to be wearing the wrong costumes...but yes, this is all part of the show.
Tom Browning delivers two major roles, Daniel Veil and Ben Hur, in a powerful and engaging manner. Phillip Evans is convincing and hilarious as the Roman commander and other very unusual characters. Gary van Sluiters is impressive in numerous roles. And last but not least, Danielle Stephenson has to play the part of every woman and some men - and she does a brilliant job.
It's a wonderful production. The rapidity with which the actors switch roles is highly impressive and the cleverly designed costumes add to the fun. The stage sets include the famous chariot race: they definitely got that wrong; even I know that it did not take place in...where is it?
The audience clearly loved every minute.
Well directed by Simon Burne this Ben-Hur certainly needs a packed audience who have to be willing to work as galley slaves, so hurry up and buy your tickets.
For tickets go to: http://www.rugbytheatre.co.uk/