ITV West Television Workshop Going Postal at Bristol Bierkeller Theatre review
Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal follows the story of Moist Von Lipwig, a man saved from hanging by the “angel” Lord Vetinari and given a choice: die, or save a dying postal service. Cue a tale of humourous escapades, a mail-obsessed cult and the discovery of an unlikely hero, adapted by Stephen Briggs and performed by the kids at the ITV West Television Workshop.
When first entering the Bierkeller theatre, what I expected was rather a glorified school play – you know the sort, the children standing sheepishly with mumbled voices, their faces blank and expressionless.
Well, wasn’t I surprised! Even the youngest kids had mastered the art of projection, their valiant efforts and enthusiasm was very encouraging as the three hour show went on. The ITV West Television Workshop gives young people from the age five upwards experience in performance and production skills. This production really showed how much hard work is put in - not only by the young people involved, but by their directors and patrons too.
The story itself was very amusing in Pratchett’s typically surrealist, fantasy manner. At some points the dialogue did seem to drag a little, but the enthusiasm of the young cast helped them pull off the sometimes tricky script with apparent ease. There were a few mistakes here and there but overall the performance went smoothly.
The script was delivered with surprising professionalism and flashes of hilariously comic acting helped to gloss over the more glaring errors.
This production of Going Postal was not unlike a professional performance – except with shorter actors and squeakier voices. There were certainly a few budding actors here and there. Chris Hollier as the charismatic antihero Moist Von Lipwig rather reminded me of a young Malcom McDowell as Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange, minus the ultra violence and fake eyelashes.
All in all, a courageous effort by the young people of the ITV West Television Workshop and their supporters. If you are interested in seeing the next generation of Bristol theatre doing their thing, don’t miss your chance to see these kids in action.
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