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Tarentino Live - Riverside Studios



…we’ve taken the decision, due to various production delays, to postpone the press night for Tarantino Live at Riverside Studios”


Well, I can’t make the new date, which is two weeks after the original date, and as I paid for a ticket to see it anyway, in true Tarantino style: fuck them. They can go fuck themselves, fuck themselves again, and when they’ve finished motherfucking fucking themselves, they can go fuck themselves some more. Especially when I have no idea why two additional weeks of previews were needed to iron out what seemed to me to be very negligible issues – Clarence (Alexander Zane), the show’s narrator, had his head mic cut out on him at one point. No matter: a stagehand rushed on with a mic on a stand. Job done. That sort of thing could happen at any time.


Assuming you’re still reading this (hopefully I’ve put off the over-sensitive and fainthearted with all the fuckery), I’m not a Quentin Tarantino movie buff – there are more of his films I haven’t seen than ones that I have, although I have been told they are, in terms of strong language and gratuitous violence, more or less the same. That comes across in this theatrical production, and for me, the swearing and the shooting, and the shooting and the swearing, all got a bit motherfucking boring.


There’s a storyline of sorts going on, with ‘The Tyranny of Evil Men’ battling against the ‘Fox Force Five’ (there are eight of the former and seven of the latter), and like any all-out, all-American show with guns, it isn’t long before the numbers start whittling down. But not every “Bang!” necessarily results in a killing – I mean, they’ve got to mix it up a little bit, right? – and some characters, at face value, appear to have more resurrections than Jesus, if only because the show would run out of actors well before the interval.


Even the curtain call, by its very nature, diverges from a movie: they’re all okay, they’ve always been okay, and they’re all there, taking their bows, lapping up the audience’s applause. A lot of people in the audience at the preview I attended were impressed by the whole thing – the quality of the singing, the acting, the sound design, the live band, the lighting design, the video projections – indeed, there wasn’t anything they didn’t like.


This leaves my own cold indifference at variance with them, especially in terms of the plot. In most of the scenes I didn’t find myself rooting for one side or the other, and it was only when the Fox Force Five (or Fox Force Six, or Fox Force Three, or however many there were in this particular scene) set about planning to gather a large number of Nazis into a cinema, so they could blow them all up, that I actually cared about the success of the mission.


If anything, it’s an opportunity to enjoy the soundtracks of Tarantino’s movies (well, most of them – as I understand it, there’s nothing from The Hateful Eight, as that one has an original score). I am the polar opposite of an expert on chart music but even I recognised the likes of ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’, ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ and ‘Bang Bang’. It’s a wild ride, and I’m not inclined to see it again, but I’m glad I saw it at all.


L-R - George Maguire (Vincent), Karen Mav (Jackie Brown), Anton Stephens (Jules), Tara Lee (Mia), Lifford Shillingford (Mersellus)


At Riverside Studios until 13 August 2023

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