Lights! Donkey! Action! (2023), Paradise in Augustine's, Review

Lights! Donkey! Action! - Babolin Theatre
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Babolin Theatre
Richard Fredman (writer / director), Jon Whitten (musical director / assistant director), Phyllida Hickish (designer / assistant director), Dan Wallace (technician), Lucy Wallace (producer).
Meredith Bowen, Rowan Brown, Sophie Craddock, Benjamin Frere, Hannah Garner, Charlotte Griffin, James Hawkins, Ursula Johnson, Amy Kimberley, Lia Middleton, Felicity Wood.
Running time

As a band of workers, dressed uniformly in beige, stir awake they are about to enter the colourful world of the great film director Frederico Fettuccini.

With a jaunty opening rap number, they are introduced to his vision of cinematic glory in producing the tales of chivalry and derring-do of the famous knight errant, Don Quixote. It’s a feat which defeated Orson Wells and which took Terry Gilliam 29 years to come up with “a barely coherent mess”. But Fettuccini has a plan to start at the beginning; do scenes; get to the end.

Any grandiose plans are however downsized when his backer Reggie has his hedge fund trimmed, driving the project up the Driveway of Delusion to batter his dreams on the Doorstep of Despair. There is some hope though as the strange Flamenco speaking, and alliteration admiring, workers are familiar with playing the knight’s stories.

Stories and styles to be performed are picked tombola style, pairing windmill giants or an army of sheep with the genres of physical theatre, silent movies, or minimalism and Frederico is soon caught up in chasing his goal of really getting inside the head of Don Quixote.

Assisted by the loyal Sandy Pecorino he needs to undertake a bruising journey of discovery to approach madness and sort truth from fiction if he is ever to reach a finale.

This is Babolin’s 19th year at The Fringe and, whilst in truth not their most ingenious, they sally forth enthusiastically and energetically to tackle the plot and the temporal problems of flashback scenes in their trademark knockabout comic ensemble style with songs, puppetry and “board of card” scenery and props.

Performed with courage and in a genuine and passionate manner which Don Quixote would approve.


Show Times: 5 -12 August 2023 at 12pm.

Tickets: £10 (£8).

Suitability 12+.