If you think a tale involving shades of Frankenstein, an edge of Faustus and a touch of Dr Moreau sounds barking mad, then you’re probably right – but that’s what we’re promised in a new show coming to Arts Centre Washington which is, after all, all about inventive theatre.
A Dog’s Heart is the quirky offering from Perfect Fools – a new Newcastle company set up by Gordon Duffy-McGhie, Rob Bullard and Mark Labrow who wanted an outlet for their own “madcap productions” and skills, which include acting, miming, directing and producing.
Their shows are, apparently, heavily influenced by the idea of the clown, or the fool, and they like to improvise and use their imaginations, so audiences can expect an unusual adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic Russian novel about a lone stray called Sharik who lives on the streets of Moscow.
In the story, the starving dog is found by Professor Preobrazhensky, a world-famous cosmetic surgeon who makes his fortune rejuvenating Moscow’s aging elite and thinks he has found the raw material for his greatest experiment yet.
Theirs is a satirical take on the tale, which is set in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, and it makes modern day connections to such issues as ageing, plastic surgery and work in genetics.
The self-funded show, combining comedy, clowning and a sparky script, won them an outstanding performance award at this year’s Prague Fringe Festival.
Co-artistic director Mark said “We’re hoping that, with this production, our reputation for making, stylish, inventive theatre and for telling stories in a playful yet meaningful way will be cemented and we’ll quickly become top dogs in the region for our unique brand of theatre.”
A Dog’s Heart is having a tour of five venues in the North East in the spring and it kicks off at Washington Arts Centre on February 6 – visit www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or call 0191 219 3455 – followed by dates in Hexham, Barnard Castle, Seaton Delaval and Alnwick. Visit www.perfectfools.co.uk for more about the company.