Theatre in Wales

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A larger than life sparkle!

Well Thumbed

Notional Theatre , Chapter , September 28, 2016
Well Thumbed by Notional Theatre Terry Victor is one of life’s larger than life characters, out of the Brian Blessed mould. He has a quick wit and a sharp delivery. A man of many parts, actor, entrepreneur, author. His many plays include The Perplexing Puzzle of the Pedigree Pet, a title that demonstrates his playfulness with words. He is also a Lexicographer, Co-editor of The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. He is a regular on BBC 5 Live's Up All Night "Grammar Phone-in" and contributor across the BBC Radio network.

One of his biggest successes is his creation of his Murder on the Menu company which continues to delight after over twenty five years. His Murder on The Orient Express has been performed on The Orient Express many times, as that world-renowned train thunders through Europe.

And now in his comfortable well-stocked library, transported to the Chapter stage he performs his self- conceived delicacy ‘Well Thumbed’. Well-thumbed many of the more salacious pages of literature may be but Victor has explored nearly a hundred publications to seek out and present for our delight their most risqué and bawdy extracts!

He gets us off with Mozart’s roundel “Leck mich im Arsch”, giving us a clear indication of the road we are going down. We move on with similar quotations from Trollope and George Elliot. Like many of his extracts on the surface they sound perfectly innocent but Victor digs down into them until he is able to pull out their more earthy Victoresque interpretations.

Maybe if we were led more gently into this world of lewd and titillating ecstasy we would be more able to throw off our instinctive decency and share Victor’s delight and wallow with him in his subversions. He finds them everywhere, Shakespeare is probably his most ready supplier but he finds the rough stuff in the Bible! He has good friends in D H Lawrence, John Ford who knows ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Plato, Casanova and The Marquis de Sade.

But Jane Austin, Elizabeth Barrett Browning! I’m sure myself they had never heard of the multi sexual practices attributed to them. Most of them were completely new to me!

This was a first performance of this brave collection of indecent indelicacies, there is a very entertaining show deep in there struggling to get out. Victor is not likely to give up until he finds it. I’ll be ready.

You know Terry Victor is the only actor I know who is continually up-staged by his own eyebrows!

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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