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Pip Utton Is the Hunchback of Notre Dame

Pip Utton
New Town Theatre

Bells toll and the lights come up on Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, bending over the body of Esmeralda. He talks to her, expressing his love and gratitude and, over the next 70 minutes, reveals his story.

Utton condenses the 450+ pages of Hugo's novel into those 70 minutes, capturing the essence of both the character and the story without any gaps which impede the flow of the story and without wasted words. The story of Quasimodo is there in its entirety.

That in itself is a remarkable achievement but even more remarkable is Utton's performance. He is one of the most chameleon-like actors working today. He doesn't just don a hump and a bit of facial make-up but becomes Quasimodo, giving him a body language, even down to twitching fingers, which is sustained throughout, and a voice which is totally appropriate.

The packed audience was gripped for the full 70 minutes, understandably for he really is the master of the one-man show and this is one of his best.

Reviewer: Peter Lathan