David Glass Ensemble, Popeye

Review in Issue 5-3 | Autumn 1993

Stunned and bemused! Popeye is a masterpiece; a creation from the world of the David Glass Ensemble, written and directed by the man himself. Perfect characterisations from a cast of seven immensely strong and vigorous performers. Gary Barber's Popeye is simply stunning. Vocally catching him down to the very syllable, even when singing a touching Astaire ballad – not easy, as you will know if you have ever tried to mimic the Popeye voice! With the accurate posturing of Mary Roscoe's Olive and Rex Doyle's Wimpy adding to the wonderful Sapsville atmosphere, we have live music and effects engrossed within inventive use of staging.

However, I am bemused as much as excited by Popeye. The first half felt long – a children's show that invited little participation from the eager audience. The funny script seemed to be tailored for the adults there. It really wasn't until the final half-hour that the children saw what they wanted: flashes, bangs, excitement and Popeye's swordfight spilling into the auditorium.

At times Popeye sits on the genre fence. Is it a show for children or is it akin to the Thunderbirds of MTP? Yet seldom have I witnessed such a touching final scene as that here. Grasped from the chaos of Popeye's assumed demise comes the simplest and most beautiful of happy endings.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 1993

This article in the magazine

Issue 5-3
p. 15