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Home arrow Archive: Earlier Fringes arrow Archive: Brighton 2012 arrow I Have Never Cared For Sunsets
I Have Never Cared For Sunsets
Published on Monday, 07 May 2012

4 stars

The Regency Tavern (venue website)
5, 12, 19 May, 2:30pm-3:45pm, 6:30pm-7:45pm; 6, 13, 20 May, 3:30pm-4:45pm
Reviewed by Jonathon Manning

 Suitable for age 18+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.
 World Premiere.

Down a flight of stairs, across a courtyard, and into a small dark room behind the Regency Tavern, you’ll find the stage of the Garyhaus Players’ latest puppet show I Have Never cared for Sunsets: A History. The dingy room could be enough to put some people off the performance from the outset; but the low-key nature of the venue, alongside Tye McGivern’s atmospheric violin accompaniment, in fact brings a more personal touch to this idiosyncratic play.

A few scripted errors during the introduction sum up the quirky and modest nature of the Garyhaus players, who have given their puppets a life of their own and even a biography in the program.  The plot follows a young Isaac Newton as he struggles to cope with a changing world of philosophy, science and politics, as well as promote his own theory of motion, which is deftly explained through potatoes.

Grabitation, he explains, is the force that pulls object to earth, and is so named because it “grabs” them and pulls them to the ground.  The problem Isaac faces is that the rulers of the land impose their own laws based on their own personal physics theories, with little thought for the chaos this could cause.  It’s down to Isaac and his acquaintances to explain the flaws in those philosophies and try and bring order back to their country.

The eccentric plot is far from complex, and in the most part simply follows a series of leaders as they rise and fall from power with the help of Isaac.  But this simplicity is part of I Have Never Cared for Sunsets’ charm.  Instead of a complicated storyline we get a range of whimsical, very likeable, puppets… and an hour full of laughs. 

Each of the puppets gains a life of their own through the players’ wide variety of voices and accents, from the lisping Isaac to the deeply Welsh Mr. Smith.  The overall appeal of the play and its quirky cast excused, more or less, the odd mistaken line or interruption in the performance.  If ridiculous humour and puppetry appeal to you, then you won’t want to miss I Have Never Cared for Sunsets at this year’s Brighton Fringe.  Just be careful of stealing potatoes, and you never know… you might just learn a little bit about physics.  Maybe.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.