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Gulliver

Kit Lambert
Hijinx Theatre Company
Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, and touring
(2009)

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Young Welsh playwright, Kit Lambert's latest play, Gulliver, has been written for the inimitable Cardiff-based Hijinx Theatre Company.

Lambert's career was launched in 2005 when he won the Sherman Cymru's inaugural Script Slam competition, since which time he has worked for Paines Plough, Dirty Protest and the Sherman, earning himself a reputation as a name to watch in Welsh Theatre.

Gulliver is a fascinating exploration of Jonathon Swift's tortuous fear of lunacy, or more specifically his terror of the Asylum, and focuses on the period of his life in which he penned the biting satire, Gulliver's Travels.

Lambert's text is a masterful combination of the biographical, the imagined and extracts from the novel, all seamlessly combined into this well-imagined and well-crafted whole.

Swift's satire and his battles with the 'absurdities' of 18th century life are perfectly embodied in Lambert's text and brought to life by the captivating performances of Brendan Charleson's tormented Swift and Michael Wagg's irrepressible Dr Lemuel Gulliver.

Strong support is provided by Zoë Davies and James Ashton, and Carl Davies' set and costume design is richly atmospheric; remarkably lavish for this small-scale touring production.

Hijinx's Louise Osborn directs this absorbing production, with all the colour and vibrancy of Swift's opiate-induced vision. This is intelligent, arresting theatre, brilliantly written and staged with the flare and panache that has become typical of Hijinx.

"Gulliver" tours to Tipton, Lincoln, Otley, Pontefract, Skipton, The Camphill Village Trust, Barmouth, Pwlheli, Denbigh, Dolgellau, Newport, Llanwrtyd Wells, Gillingham, Halstock, Shillingstone, Theatr Powys, Ystradgynlais, Corsham, The Heron Theatre, Abergavenny, Ledbury, Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff.

Reviewer: Allison Vale