The Carroll Myth
Schmucks Theatre Company
It becomes clear some minutes into The Carroll Myth, that this is not a simplistic piece of theatre. The story of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson as presented gives a possible explanation of the titular 'Carroll Myth'; the belief that Dodgson was both romantically inclined towards Alice Liddell and also suffering from a mania revolving around his writings.
As such we are presented with Dodgson as a scholar, suffering from a stammer and flights of fancy at odds with his position in society and the constraints of 19th century England at the time. His characters begin to come to life around him as waking nightmares and as well as being inspired by the people he knows.
It's an intriguing concept, let down slightly by the lack of space in the venue, which was unfortunate but left for an interesting amount of audience participation, especially from the three lithe and lovely Cheshire cat women who repeatedly slunk about the audience undoing shoelaces and stealing umbrellas during the more manic moments. The overall performance was cleverly put together, but lacked proper closure, as the passage of time throughout and his strange actions in situations meant the play would have seemed confusing to anyone not familiar with his life.
Despite this, it was a brave and novel piece of theatre, which aficionados of Carroll's work would no doubt find fascinating.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan