And a spirited, exuberantly acted and very funny – if unconventional – production it is too.
The best Classic Cuts have always been those that attempt to do something original with the source material rather than simply cut scenes to shoehorn the play into the allotted time frame.
That’s exactly what Hattie Naylor has done here, with an a capella version of Sam Cooke’s Cupid preceding Mark McDonnell as Longus dividing the crowd, panto-style, into goats and sheep.
When the god Love makes his initial entrance as a hoodied Manc rapper, it is clear the dressing-up box and wildly exaggerated characterisation are going to be employed to the full in Marilyn Imrie’s production. And so it proves.
Plotwise, the show is basically a series of comic tableaux centring on the trials and tribulations of childhood sweethearts, Daphnis (Paul James Corrigan) and Chloe (Kirstin McLean) – both adopted as foundlings – as they battle everything fate throws at them.
Chief among these are Chloe’s kidnapping by angry renegades, an inability to discover the joys of sex, a French ingenue man-eater and Daphnis trying to ward off a servant’s gay crush. It’s all implausible stuff, made farcically funny by a cast in excellent form.
It was not what I was expecting at all and I can’t imagine that I was alone there.
Sponsored by Corona