Tragic Carpet, The Heart of the Dog

Review in Issue 5-4 | Winter 1993

Transplanting the testicles and pituitary glands of a man into a stray dog and coping with the unexpected results makes The Heart of a Dog sound like a farce. Actually, in many ways, it is. For there is undeniable humour in the concept, humour that is well punctuated throughout this 90 minute piece of ensemble theatre, written by Phil Smith.

But there is more underneath. The story is from the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov and has strong messages on post-revolution Russia. So strong at times that it felt particularly naive and in urgent need of a degree in 20th Century Russian Politics.

Tragic Carpet grow beyond this though. Using an endless array of perfectly crafted styles from theatre and film (especially the powerful soundtrack by John Moore) we see dancing, tumbling, clowning and character acting, all choreographed magnificently by Freda O’Byrne. The cast of five guide us through a world that closely resembles the tilted one in the film Delicatessen. One leaves the theatre having seen something very, very good indeed. So good that no single element shines brighter than any other. Evidently, judging by reviews of previous productions, this is the ‘norm’ for Tragic Carpet.

Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 1993

This article in the magazine

Issue 5-4
p. 20