One fot the Diary: Napoleon Disrobed

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Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from Tuesday March 20 to Saturday March 24

What if Napoleon didn’t die in exile? What if he swapped identities with a lowly sailor and made it back to Paris? What then?

Kathryn Hunter directs Paul Hunter (Told by an Idiot co-founder and artistic director) and Ayesha Antoine in Napoleon Disrobed, a playful meditation on the significance of power, based on the acclaimed novella The Death of Napoleon by Simon Leys.

Napoleon Disrobed is a wry re-imagining of the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte and examines how legend can often be stronger than reality. Using the company’s trademark comic physicality, Napoleon Disrobed looks at the absurdity of trying to retrieve time and glory and dissects the notion of what it is to lose power but gain personal freedom in the transition from one identity to another.

Director Kathryn Hunter said: “When Paul gave me Simon Leys’ novella to read, I was immediately caught by the author’s wit and playfulness. The story is not a serious historical proposition but a pretext to ask questions about how we live and what we regard as important in our lives.

“I am so excited to be creating this adaptation with Paul and Ayesha. Paul is pure comic genius, whose seemingly infinite invention often leaves me speechless in rehearsal. Ayesha is a performer of huge depth, strength and versatility. Together they make a formidable pair and take us on an unforgettable journey.”

Told by an Idiot take creative risks, tell universal stories and include everyone. The company was last at the venue with My Perfect Mind.

Napoleon Disrobed can be seen in the McCarthy auditorium at the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Tuesday March 20, Wednesday March 21, and Friday March 23 at 7.45pm; Thursday March 22at 1.45pm and 7.15pm; and Saturday March 24 at 2.45pm and 7.45pm.

Tickets: 01723 370541