The entrance to the North West Regional College’s Foyle Theatre was flanked by two intimating Nazi soldiers. The uniform alone is pretty intimating, but combined with the serious stare and replica weapons… sends shivers.
Opening up onto a Café scene, the audience were encourage to populate the candle lit tabled seating area and become part of the show. With a glass of wine in hand and Tarantino inspired music played by a live band, we were anticipating what was about to begin. Already before a word had been spoken, before the lights had even dimmed, the show was oozing professionalism.
Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino’s hit movie, follows Allied officer, Lieutenant Aldo Raine and his band of Inglourious Basterds during the first year of Germany's occupation of France. Raine assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to commit violent acts of retribution against the Nazis, including the taking of their scalps.
A pretty graphic film for those who have seen it would testify, but I was very interested to see just how Five Dollar Shake Productions would transfer this to the stage. Although the blood was not flowing by the bucket load as in a typical Tarantino movie, there was just the perfect amount of violence to compliment the impressive acting on show.
Less than five minutes into the performance I had to remind myself that technically this stage adaptation was in fact an amateur production. But there was nothing amateur about it.
This cross curriculum collaboration involved many departments within the North West Regional College. Students from Performing Arts, Music Production, Hair & Beauty, Art & Design, Construction, Media, Multimedia and Interactive Media came together to produce such a professional and polished performance that any production house would have been proud of. Inglourious Basterds LIVE would have felt at home gracing any theatre stage in the UK as it had in the Foyle Theatre last night.
It is really heartening to see so much acting talent on our doorstep and young talent at that. It’s one thing to be able to act, that alone is impressive, but to be able to do so while speaking in different languages is just incredible. German, French and English - as well the odd I-talian as Aldo liked to put it - complimented the relevant accents throughout the performance making it 100% believable.
Combined with the fantastic live music and beautifully shot motion picture scattered throughout the performance, this 5 Dollar Shake Production highlights the important work going on behind the scenes at the NWRC and this current production shows how the North West will play a big part in producing the next crop of exciting young acting talent to emerge from Northern Ireland.
Sum up Inglourious Basterds LIVE in one word? I can’t. I need to use a few. Incredible, impressive, professional, believable, but above all, the guys and gals of Inglourious Basterds LIVE did justice to Tarrentinos masterpiece.