Amazing, enthralling, and just bordering on one of the most eccentric things ever witnessed on a Largs stage, the epic tale of Ben Hur was a hit with audiences in Largs.
The famous movie starring Charlton Heston was shoehorned into the confines of the back area of Lounge in Largs Main Street, with bikes, blow-up dolls, hobby horses and all manner of props and costume changes.
Converting the Club Room into Ancient Rome may require a quantum leap of the imagination but with four fearless actors Calum McVittie, Laura Newton, Stewart Phillips and Kevin Jannetts, it was a magnificent two and a half hours of entertainment with plenty of audience interaction and laughs.
The gag-filled script was written by Patrick Barlow, the writer of the Olivier nominated ‘A Christmas Carol’.
This stage adaptation takes one of the bestselling stories and condenses it, telling the tale of the fictional Jewish prince and merchant Judah Ben Hur.
Complete with stunning combat, a bone fide chariot race and an authentic sea battle — with real water — it’s a question as to how it could all fit inside Lounge.
The story follows Ben Hur as he falls to galley slave and rises to the champion charioteer within Jerusalem during the life of Jesus Christ.
It would be a struggle getting all that into the Tardis, never mind the compact and bijou clubroom, and in the opening introduction it was announced that the fab four actors would actually be representing 70,000 characters in the famous tale!
Suspend your imagination and enjoy was key to the show, and at one point everyone in the audience took part in the dramatic rowing scene through the high seas, with Kevin Jannetts bellowing from behind: “Faster” as another whip cracked off the floor!
There were so many nice touches in the whirlwind script in this tale of biblical proportions, including Jesus reminding everyone to bring back a polythene bag for recycling (very ahead of its time for 2000 years ago) to some superb slow motion flashing lights,
Indeed there was some top technical wizardry, coupled with crazy costume changes and even the audience participating in the script to hilarious effect - it was very Monty Pythonesque.
Breathtaking, brilliant, and absolutely potty, it was a big challenge for four actors to be on stage for the full duration but they carried it off with real aplomb with some detailed dialogue to boot.
A Roman masterpiece on the high seas!