This summer Bolton Octagon transformed the Queens Park into the extraordinary land of Lilliput from classic story of Gulliver’s Travels. This production is an all-weather outdoor promenade performance where the audience gets to explore the Queens Park while watching this amazingly put together show. The show is about Gulliver who wants to be a hero in his daughter’s eyes, so he takes her on a journey to a land where he is literally a giant.
Alexander Bean played the role of The Emperor who is a strong and powerful character. His importance was expressed by Small's tone of voice and the costume he was wearing. All the decisions in the show were down to his character which was also a good way of showing his importance. Small was able to present his high level of power to the audience very well.
Marc Small played the role of Lord Skyresh who is a funny and laughable character. He was the person who made the production comedic. His character was loveable and memorable, and he was able to present his love for acting through this character.
Anne O'Riorden played the role of Betty. O'Riorden's energy throughout the show was on display and the younger members of the audience loved it however at times it may have seemed a little exaggerated. Other than that, Anne played a very good character and presented a young girl well.
Michael Peavoy played the lead role of Gulliver. He played a very believable character and was able to take everybody on a journey through his story. In the first scene when the puppet was first displayed, Michael had the job of controlling its head which he did a very impressive job of considering how big it was. I really liked Michael's presentation of Gulliver because he played it in a way where it was true and he acted how a father would act to their daughter then telling her stories and making her believe everything he was saying.
The highlight of the show was a giant puppet of Gulliver that is 8m tall and currently it is the largest puppet made in the UK. The puppet constructed by Handmade Parade was interesting in terms of how it has been operated and does create an amazing effect.
Throughout the show the cast was joined by young performers and community companies. Everyone was full of energy and excitement. I loved that final scene brings together local choirs from across Bolton as well as the full company.
The whole company wore very colourful and weather suitable costumes.
I wasn't convinced with the set. I personally felt like it was very basic and for me it didn't create the magic of the story.
The only let down of this production was the sound design. From the prologue I could hear the microphones giving feedback and the volume wasn't great although I understand that it must be hard operating the sound for a promenade performance. I also didn't like how a very big group of young performers had 1 or 2 (there was too many kids, so I couldn't see how many) megaphones to share between them as it took time to pass the megaphone around.
This show gets:
overall, This Show Is Visually Spectacular and the company is briliant