Review: Picasso Stole the Mona Lisa

ISA BONACHERA is extremely impressed with this comedy powerhouse

ADC Cambridge Corpus Playroom picasso stole the mona lisa Tab Theatre

This show has everything going for it: a great original script, a stellar cast, and some wicked poster art.

Jamie Fenton‘s writing is dynamic, witty and extremely funny. There is not a single dull line in his script.  Picasso Stole the Mona Lisa is completely original, and every single one of his extravagant characters is very well constructed. Fenton is a writer to watch.

The direction and production of this show must have been extremely challenging due to the strategically designed lighting and audio of the show, the great flow of scenes, and the mix of media. One scene of the script was filmed and projected onto the wall in a hilarious old-school style film. Another scene was just an audio recording. The diversity of medium strongly contributed to the show’s enjoyability.

The impressive publicity by Hannah Taylor also deserves a mention.

The show’s main strength lay in the diversity and strength of the comic cast, who took an excellent script and worked it for all it is worth.

Haydn Jenkins stole the show with his entertaining portrayal of a Russian-Italian poet. Every single sentence and gesture was laughter-inducing, and this was evident in the audience’s enjoyment of the eccentricity of Jenkins‘s character.

Yaseen Kader played a pretentious Pablo Picasso. The audience loved his attempts at telling lame puns, and the sexual tension between him and Jenkins‘s poet. Yaseen and Haydn make an entertaining and dynamic duo, and I look forward to see them together again on stage.

Will Dalrymple played Monsieur Olivier, an irascible frenchmen, and several other small characters. It felt like he was playing all these characters the same way; at times it felt like he was on stage just to deliver his lines, as he didn’t really interact with the other characters very effectively. However, I was very entertained by his acting, especially in the final scene of ‘citric violence’. (This makes sense if you watch the show).

Writer and Director, Jamie Fenton and Rhiannon Shaw, prove a powerhouse team.

Elinor Lipman is the hilarious Madame Olivier, one of my favorite characters in this show. Lipman‘s contagious energy left me wanting more scenes involving Madame Olivier.

The two policemen of the show were played by Natalie Reeve and Colin Rothwell. Rothwell‘s performance was perfect – the “bad cop” of the show, a man with an unrealised dream of becoming an art historian. His performance left the audience laughing hysterically every time he lapsed into French.

Reeve was the “good cop”, a nervous and effeminate man with a secret infatuation with his work partner. Her ability to display such a wide range of emotions just with her facial expressions was used to particular effect.

Overall, Picasso Stole the Mona Lisa is an excellent show.

I guarantee whoever watches it will be entertained from start to finish.

73% – a solid first.