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Theatre Review: Ken @ The Bunker


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The inspired, mischievous and undoubtedly genius Ken Campbell is the subject of this rich and well-crafted two-hander.

Image courtesy of Robert Day

A tribute to Campbell in more ways than one, Terry Johnson’s Ken follows the story of Campbell’s life from the moment he met Johnson to the moment he passed away. The narrated memories re-enacted on stage are full of heart-warming vitality and joy, and a clear sense of the love Johnson holds for the man who inspired him is palpable from the get-go.

Immediately upon entering the space you are thrown into the 70’s due to Tim Shorthall’s incredible set design. The swirling psychedelic wallpaper, orange carpet and mismatched chairs and cushions capture the time period perfectly, the smallest details will envelope you into Johnson’s world, allowing for the life of Ken Campbell to come to fruition before your eyes.

It is Jeremy Stockwell who brings Ken Campbell to life in the space, never once losing the kinetic energy of the theatrical maverick. His interactions with the audience, breaking the fourth wall, are perfect and hilarious and introduce you to the warmth Campbell surely had. Forgotten lines and mumbled words are handled with such ease and comedy you find yourself wishing for more mistakes.

Johnson’s writing is strong and honest. He paints a vivid picture through his words of the time he spent with Campbell. His fond reminiscing is passionate and heartfelt, the stories he tells are emotional, funny and at times very poignant. The insights to how Campbell worked in the theatre so interesting you will want to hear more.

The production apologises for nothing and is just as charismatic, bizarre and entertaining as the man himself surely was.

For more information and tickets click here.

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