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Watermill Youth Theatre - ¡Donkey Hoo-Ha!

30th May to 2nd June 2007.

This is from the Newbury Weekly News.

It's ass-ta la vista!

Youth theatre director's final theatrical journey is a hoot

Watermill Youth Theatre: ¡Donkey Hoo-ha!, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, May 30 to Saturday, June 2

The Watermill Youth Theatre production of the classic Spanish tale Don Quixote was an absolute hoot.

Writer Will Wollen has taken the original story of the man who reads too many stories of daring knights and chivalry, and starts to believe that he is the bravest knight of all, and has given it a modern, fresh and hugely comic approach.

Welcome to the donkey game show with Hosty Host (Giles Coutinho) and the donkey girls. TV director (Bessie Glover) encourages the audience to press their voting buttons - but there are no buttons.

The style and genre of the evening has been set. This is going to be fun.

Ed Robbs is the late contestant that wins the prize of a trip to La Mancha and decides to take the whole audience with him.

We are transported to Spain via the airport lounge, which is a hilarious spoof on all the folk from the TV programme Airport.

We meet the stag party, the angry couple suffering from a delay to flight 1605, a tongue-in-cheek reference to when Miguel Cervantes' novel was written.

Terry Pratt, strongly played by Nick Whitworth, and his downtrodden mother Evie Harbury, are delayed by three days, and anorak Keith (Ben Moxham) is the plane nerd who knows all about delays - a lovely moment.

This is an ideal opportunity for Ed to recall the story of Don Quixote, a splendidly-dressed Liam Hess, so the play moves to La Mancha with a wonderful chorus of peasant women dressed in traditional black.

This was very much an ensemble production, with the actors obviously enjoying every minute of this mad-cap rollercoaster ride through the fantasy world of the Quixote legends.

Directed with style and panache by Will Wollen, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and delightful evening with a strong message from the cast for the audience to "get out there and live your own life".

Sound advice.