KneeHigh’s Tristan and Yseult at The Bristol Old Vic

Hello everyone,

This weekend has been super busy, and one of the highlights has to be seeing KneeHigh perform Tristan & Yseult at The Bristol Old Vic on Saturday night. This is the third time I have seen KneeHigh perform and every time they have offered up something new and exciting to watch.

KneeHigh’s style is largely immersive and physical in its performance, the fourth wall need not exist when they are performing, as they address the audience effortlessly and have them in the palm of their hand from start to finish.

Here is the stage at the beginning of the evening, the way KneeHigh interact with their set almost makes it a character in its own right. As you can see from the image below, there is a small circular section with vertical wire, which was used to move the actors up and down in different scenes. The ropes were detached and used for multiple purposes, my favourite being Tristan and Yseult energetically swinging backwards and forwards like acrobats, intertwining and then uncoupling.



The story is framed by a group of misfits named ‘The Unloved’ who were an audience favourite and highly amusing. Dressed as twitchers in their anoraks, glasses and trainers they told their story through slapstick, asides and even puppet pigeons. They kept the pace interesting and dynamic throughout scene changes and costume changes.

Once again I am marvelled by KneeHigh’s cast, who seemingly can do everything! They act tragedy, they act comedy, they sing, they dance, play instruments, they swing around like acrobats – the result? A bloody brilliant show! This is theatre at its finest!

The main thing I associate with KneeHigh, apart from high energy performance, is stunning visuals. In the second act my eyes were feasted on visual after visual, which left me reeling after the show had finished. I can’t spoil any of them for you, but let me just say ‘Black or white?!’.

Review: ***** (5/5 Stars)

You can check out KneeHigh’s promo for the show on their website here.

Photos: Header image courtesy of Visit Bristol


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