Mr Puntilla and His Servant Matti

PUBLISHED: 13:40 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:55 06 May 2010

THE spirit of Brecht was alive at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin last week in a colourful and engaging rendition of this notoriously difficult play. Mr Puntilla is a fat, nasty capitalist intent on pressing his misery upon everyone around him, especi

THE spirit of Brecht was alive at the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin last week in a colourful and engaging rendition of this notoriously difficult play.

Mr Puntilla is a fat, nasty capitalist intent on pressing his misery upon everyone around him, especially his put upon chauffeur Matti. When drunk (which is often) he is the caring, sharing type who almost fancies himself as a socialist. James Lyden captured this duality brilliantly with an impressive comic performance touched with melancholy and confusion. Matti is the worker so revered by Brecht. In Gabriel Balfe's performance he is charming and quick-witted and it is easy to see why Puntilla's daughter Eva has fallen for this bit of rough.

This was an evening Brecht would have been proud of.

Never one to cower in the face of adversity The Big Spirit Theatre Company has once again lived up to its name in demonstrating a courage and integrity in tackling this piece head-on and smashing the audience right between the eyes.

Gemma Johnson


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