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The Third Policeman

“Enjoyably absurd”

A favourite of James Joyce and Graham Greene, the work of enigmatic Irish satirist Flann O’Brien is a bold choice for an alfresco production. Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre is no ordinary touring company though, having tackled Waiting for Godot four years ago in place of the traditional Shakespearean summer offering.

Now it has taken aim at O’Brien’s cult comic novel. There are hints of Father Ted here, but mainly we are in the realm of the Irish Theatre of the Absurd, as a murder is committed right at the start to finance the search for the works of an eccentric scientist-philosopher.

Along the way policemen adopt the personalities of their bicycles, atomic theories are bandied around, and a ramshackle lift carries people to an eternity of fulfilled promises. There’s darkness here but it struggles to register in the wide open playing-field spaces.

Director Bill Scott and his four-strong cast wisely concentrate on the zany wordplay, the physical comedy and the increasingly bizarre array of characters, while managing the shock twist at the end with considerable style.

All four cast members are cyclists of near-Tour de France skill levels and Miracle Theatre stalwart Hannah Stephens brings some welcome discipline to the surreal action as the nameless storyteller. She’s helped no end by Ciaran Clarke`s cranky musical sound track.

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Production Details
Production nameThe Third Policeman
VenueWellow Recreation Ground
StartsJuly 6, 2017
EndsJuly 6, then touring until August 26
Running time2hrs 15mins
AuthorFlann O`Brien
AdaptorBill Scott, Meiert Avis And, Robert Bayley
DirectorBill Scott
Set designerJude Munden
Sound designerCiaran Clarke
CastBen Kernow, Benjamin Dyson, Catherine Lake, Hannah Stephens
Stage managerOliver Cumins
ProducerMiracle Theatre
VerdictEnjoyably absurd and inventively staged alfresco summer theatre
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Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

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