OpinioN8

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A man who falls in love with himself @pantsonfireco @EarlHaigHall

No, not a piece about myself but a review of Ovid's Metamorphoses currently being staged in the Earl Haig Hall

The Earl Haig Hall is a local building of some architectural interest which was recently under threat of redevelopment. It was listed as an Asset of Community Value to give the community a chance to buy it, a chance which came to nothing. Since then, the new owners, Antic Pubs have worked wonders with the place, and last night was a fine example of how well the building works. The pub section, room 1 , was setting up for an excellent band  , and was busy, the more so because of the theatre crowd. The menu clip boards were offering a pre-theatre set price deal, from 5:30 till 7. Room 2 was showing Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the entire place was full of life. Crouch End is lucky to have such a place, not to mention the King's Head, The Railway, Henry Reader, Maynard, Alex, Moors Bar, Kiss the Sky , Harringay Arms, the Arthouse all of which offer not just the chance to purchase a mood enhancing drug, but also a wide variety of entertainment. Oh, and did I mention the Town Hall? This too is an Asset of Community Value, currently being offered on the fairly open market. There is a considerable movement which believes that community ownership would be the best possible solution there, but perhaps the Earl Haig example holds out hope for a private solution.

I don't think I'm doing these places a disservice by mentioning that other venues are available. Rather, the wealth on offer positions Crouch End as the go to place for a bit of kulcher, innit? Especially when it has the quality, depth of material, actor ability and stage magic provided by Ovid's Metamorphoses. I'm recommending you go and see it. Ovid's massive work contains numerous myths, and before seeing the show I wasn't sure that I was familiar with them at all, but it turns out I do recognise a lot, as would you. The story of Echo, able to speak only the final words she hears, Orpheus in the Underground (the whole play time travels to WWII so yes , the Undergound, and btw the perfect era for the former British Legion building) with Eurydice, Theseus and Ariadne and the Minotaur, and so on. They pack a lot into the evening. Room 2 is transformed, with an ante-chamber art gallery, a rose bower and raked seating, much set about with corrugated blast proofing. The stage magic comes from the cast, all of whom act, sing, dance and play both a musical instrument and many parts. The props are all WWII era except a set of four screens, white on one side, black on the other and gilded in the middle, which serve numerous purposes - the wall of a cinema, a cloak of invisibility, a projection screen for the multi-media inserts, a mountain, and more, all handled smoothly and slickly by the cast.

I'm recommending it. It's funny, witty, insightful and well done. And as for the man who fell in love with himself, that was Narcissus. I'm only a bit inclined that way.

Tags: #itspants, earl haig, metamorphosis, ovid

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