Tom Frankland and Keir Cooper make work that reflects the world around them and examines their own lives through autobiography as well as issues affecting us all.
The company consist of Tom Frankland, a theatre-maker and director focusing on new theatre practice and playful low-fi aesthetics, and Keir Cooper, a jazz-punk composer/performer and graphic designer who makes work that is simultaneously disciplined and ridiculous.
Their work is a combination of all of the above, utilising the tools of the individual artists to create an experience that has its own performative language.
Themes explored in the show are: inauthenticity, honour, death and ridicule. Tragi-comedy, interruptions, and struggle. The idealist crushed by society at large. Spain and its stereotypes.
The title role will be played by a secret guest performer, unique to each date. They will be local to the area that the show is being performed in and given the afternoon to work with the company on their tasks. Early in the show, the guest Don Quijote will take one audience member (therefore becoming Sancho Panza) out onto the street to find a bar to have a one-on-one conversation. They rejoin the performance later and deliver a manifesto.
The piece, like the book, stays a few moves ahead of the audience, ensuring that the central question: "What is Don Quijote really about, and what meaning do we take from it?" is explored from many escalating angles, and through a variety of storytelling methods. This piece is ambitious in its approach, telling the story of literature’s most profound and absurd character from the voice of a company throwing everything they’ve got at a novel that absorbs and incorporates countless meanings within it.
Textures used within the play are: 3D shadow puppetry, hand-held circular saws, guest performers/improvisation, small video installations, live electric guitar and punk, colour shadow-puppetry, Skype calls, comic role-play, politics of social restrictions, live drum-and-bass, shredding of novels and audience manifestos.
The company can offer workshops and post-show discussions related to the core themes of their practice. These are: devising; adaptation and performance.
Specific workshops can be tailored according to the required audience.
"This is an energising piece, which recognises that attempts to bring change often end in failure but that celebrates the magnificent dreamers prepared to die trying." ****
"A whirlwind of joyous disintegration that sees the novel emerge resplendent from its own destruction" ****
Time Out (Critics' Choice)
"There is a lot to love about this production; they are more than a little crazy, but then you have to be to attempt to turn Cervantes’ epic tome into an hour-long stage show. This is no reduced-Sheakespeare style show, it is both more intelligent and more silly than that." ****
British Theatre Guide
"The gloriously anarchic approach taken by Tom Frankland, Keir Cooper and Último Comboio is one that simultaneously mirrors and dismantles the classic text at its heart. Its irreverent attitude towards the Cervantes is one that Don Quijote himself would have approved of."