Kemp’s Jig by Chris Harris
Blue Fire Theatre Co.
Tara Arts Theatre - 23 April 2019
by Chris Harris
Blue Fire at Tara Arts, Earlsfield until 23rd April, then on tour until 17th August
In 1599, comic actor Will Kemp danced from London to Norwich, following his departure from the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, William Shakespeare’s company. When I’d first read about this epic jig, it was in a context where it appeared as little more than an eccentric footnote, but it struck me as more of a quixotic mission than a show business masterstroke.
However, Steve Taylor’s one-man show Kemp’s Jig expands on the 125 mile Morris Dancing adventure. Featuring wonderful dancing from Dacre Morris, it is a thoroughly irreverent and entertaining look at England’s theatrical and social history
Kemp relates the tale of his feat, with frequent digressions into his theatrical career, and grumbling about his former colleague “Shakesrags”. As the show goes on it becomes very difficult to think of William Shakespeare as anyone other than whining old Albert Steptoe.
Read Andrew Lawston’s review at www.markaspen.com/2019/04/24/kemp-jig
Blue Fire at Tara Arts