The Lowry’s new series WTF Wednesdays has a stated goal of creating ‘curveball evenings’. Well, curveballs don’t come much curvier than Castle Rock from Bristol contemporary creatives Massive Owl. The show takes its cues from Stephen King’s novella The Body and the classic film adaptation Stand By Me. But instead of simply being inspired by those two pieces Castle Rock totally deconstructs them, creating a freaky and fragmentary work that mixes together music, movement and theatre.
So what’s in the show? Musically, we have unnerving and disorientating voice loops – oh, and the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This). Visually there are live projections and performances, taking up and twisting the stories of voiceless characters from the film – such as a boy in boxing gloves and the train that almost runs the boys over (the train is of course depicted by a woman in a white suit). And as for the theatre, the main themes from King’s original vision remain: loss, love and longing.
Massive Owl has a robust reputation for making shows that do things a bit differently, so its no surprise to see strong reviews for the piece from its premiere in Dublin. Another plus point is that this marks the start of a new Pay What You Decide trial from The Lowry, that allows audiences to choose just how much a show is worth to them. We’re guessing they’ll have no problem pulling in the pounds for Castle Rock.