Life’s A Dream. Miracle Theatre in Penlee Park.

Oh what a glorious combination!

Open air theatre.

Delivered by the innovative, engaging, but rarely intimidating, Miracle Theatre .

In the wonderful setting of Penzance’s Penlee Park.

The Penlee season goes right through to 22 September this year.

The Penlee season goes right through to 22 September this year.

Miracle have been entertaining for 35 years and are based up in Redruth at Krowji, the arts centre that’s housed in what was Redruth Grammar School. It was there where I learned so much in my teens, and some of it was even on the curriculum!

Miracle’s work is always worth getting to. It’s often performed in interesting venues, and gives the moderately cultured something to smile about, and a little light relief for the serious culture vulture.

Last night’s performance came towards the end of another hot sunny day here in the far west, and the sheltered theatre area at Penlee protected us from the breeze off the sea. Additional sound effects from the seagulls brought a smile to our faces, and thankfully there were no special gifts dropped by the gleaming monster birds.

The cast of six who played ten or more parts

The cast of six who played ten or more parts

As often happens the Miracle cast, six players who acted at least twice as many parts, mingled with the audience for a while before beginning to chant the play’s telling refrain of

‘I live in fear that I may wake at any moment and find myself in chains again, or just as bad I fall asleep and dream it’

If you caught the clever words first time around and got your head around them you’d have an inkling of the play’s direction, you’d also be trying to memorise them as the chant works so well.

Bugle, Rosa and Sigismund

Bugle, Rosa and Sigismund

This story of love, death, astrology and guile is an hilariously funny adaptation of Spanish bard Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s La Vida es un Sueño and challenges our perceptions of wakefulness being more real than our dreams (hence the clever refrain).

It rattles along with even the most serious moments lifted by a trained eyebrow gesture, or character Bugle’s mutterings of “Awkward”.

If the cast loved performing this as much as the audience loved watching it then we’re all happy people indeed.

Even the Penlee cat stayed for the full length of the show.

The Penlee Culture Cat

The Penlee Culture Cat

Thank you Miracle Theatre, and thank you cast – Ben Kernow (good name), Catherine Lake, the wonderful Hannah Stevens, Steve Jacobs, Tom Adams and Richard Hainsworth.

Life’s A Dream has just a few more shows to run, on Saturday up on Carn Marth Reduth, and then four shows on the Scilly Isles, but if you miss those be sure to catch The Magnificent Three, as they describe it in their own words “A rootin’ tootin’, toe-tapping comedy western” touring Cornwall form the 5th of August and most importantly finishing on the 31st August in the Plen, behind Archavon in St Just.

You can also catch Tin, their first (I think) full length film, which is definitely better on second viewing. It’s showing outdoors at Botallack Counthouse and many other venues details on www.tinmovie.com

Tin - 100% filmed on green screen!

Tin – 100% filmed on green screen!

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