"Energy-packed adptation of Melville's novel"
by Matthew Partridge for remotegoat on 12/10/19

“Call, me Ishmael” begins the opening lines of the nineteenth century epic novel Moby Dick. However, it’s pretty much certain that Melville never imagined these lines being shouted out by a barrista in a Nantucket coffee house when he first wrote them. This is just one of the many inventive jokes in Douglas Baker’s adaptation of the novel, currently running at the Brockley Jack. Old Ishmael (Rob Peacock) narrates the story of how his younger self (Ben Howarth) decided to join the ill-fate voyage of the Pequod, along with Queequeg (Stephen Erhiri) and Starbuck (Lucianne Regan) and take part in Captain Ahab’s (Charlie Tantam) quest for revenge against the white whale that destroyed his leg.

Running at seventy-five minutes, the adaptation condenses a lot of the action, rearranging some of the events to focus the action more closely on Ishmael. However, Baker captures the essential elements of the story and ably uses video, animations and sound to convey the atmosphere. The scenes where the crew confront the various beasts of the deep are spectacular energy-filled affairs that had the audience on the edge of their seat, while Ahab’s videolink conversations with the other ships were suitably creepy.

Fans of the book, as well as those looking for an entertainment fit for a dark October night, will greatly enjoy So It Goes Theatre’s new production.

Other recent reviews by Matthew Partridge
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