"Picasso is play full production"
by Anna Ambelez for remotegoat on 04/08/13

A quirky, fun filled, fact packed show. Picasso's life was varied and eventful. In 1911 in Paris at the beginning of his career when he was struggling to make ends meet, he was arrested, fact; the Mona Lisa was reported stolen, fact; these facts are intriguingly woven together with fiction and fantasy to produce this 'peculiar' tale.
A 15 strong young cast tirelessly take you through over an hour of action packed entertainment; acting, mime, dance, physical theatre (Charleen Quaye) even touches of pantomime. Picasso ( Liam Steward) was visually presented as quite a clean cut character, a little incongruous as the man was more 'laid back' in appearance. Pressed slacks and a 'blazer' did not reflect his insatiable appetite for life and bohemian existence. The sound (Jamie Flockton) is particularly effective in creating various moods, with evocative Spanish and French under tones. Lighting (Pablo Baz) changes worked well against the simple white back cloth.
In the three short years since being founded The Fourth Monkey Theatre Company has gone from strength to strength. The company's founder and Artistic Director Steven Green, wrote as well as directed this play, a remarkable achievement. The piece is not only imaginatively written, conceived and researched, it is brilliantly directed. Very often a playwright is so close to their own work they find it difficult to be creatively objective, not so with Mr. Green, a rare bird.
The occasional use of masks is such an echo of the great influence they had in Picasso's work, in particular African masks. Many scenes are surreal in their interpretation as is much of the artist's work. Picasso never stood still forever pushing the boundaries, like Fourth Monkey. This production cleverly reflects the artist’s life, like a mirror image, edgy, creative, forever inventive and vibrant.
Picasso said “Great artists copy, clever artists steal" and whilst most things have been done before this show has an original freshness all of its own.

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