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The Theatreguide.London Review

I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me Of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole
Gate Theatre       March 2014

Rodrigo Garcia's forty-five minute monologue, here smoothly and colloquially translated by William Gregory, is a shaggy dog story, and as with all shaggy dog stories, its meandering is a very large part of its justification for being. 

A man wakes up one morning and decides that, since doing and not just planning is the only way to avoid rock bottom, it is absolutely essential that he follow the sudden impulse to withdraw his life savings and take his young sons on a trip to Madrid, to break into the Prado after hours and spend the night looking at the Goyas. 

Despite the boys' remarkably reasoned and philosophically grounded arguments that a day at Disneyland would be a superior choice, they set off, deciding along the way to hire a renowned German philosopher to join them for a pre-museum dinner. 

This interlude proves largely satisfactory, even though only the six year old and eleven year old speak enough German to get the full benefits of the guest's wisdom, and then, after a brief consideration of the philosophical implications of supporting a losing football team, they move on to the museum.

I suppose I should mention at this point that the role of the German is played by a Mickey Mouse balloon, that all the props are children's toys, and that the sons are played by two live piglets who placidly wander about the stage when not pausing for a nap, their contented grunts perfectly timed to punctuate or comment on the man's words.

If there's a point to the story, it may be just a demonstration that a journey itself can be more significant than its destination. 

But with the witty and always entertaining narrative, the inventive direction of Jude Christian, the lively and personable performance of Steffan Rhodri, and the quietly scene-stealing presence of those two talented piglets, who needs a point?

Gerald Berkowitz

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Review -  I'd Rather Goya Robbed Me Of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole - Gate Theatre 2014

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