Pop culture guru David Ferguson is back with a review of Xnthony’s Dublin Fringe Show ‘Oliver Cromwell Is Really Very Sorry’.
When it comes to Dublin Fringe, I don’t tend to see very many shows. With so many amazing choices, it was a decision I had to make to try to find a work-life balance! So, having seen previous work from Xnthony, when I heard about his new show Oliver Cromwell Is Really Very Sorry, upon hearing that name, I just had to go check it out.
Oliver Cromwell. Just what is he going to do with that?
As an interesting aside, my husband came with me and, with him not growing up in Ireland, I was interested to see what he got from the show. He has, of course picked up a bit on our relationship with our neighbours across the pond, and the show, despite artistic liberties taken, does give you the gist of the whole Cromwell story. Therefore, detailed foreknowledge is not a requirement.
As it is Xnthony in the creator’s role, the show is queer, a musical remake of Cromwell’s life. Oliver Cromwell Is Really Very Sorry does cover various parts of his life closely enough (artistic flourishes aside) except changing his motivation to that of an aspiring actor. The musical shows the absurdity of some of the actual historical facts too. History through a modern lens.
It’s full of catchy, often very humorous tunes and fun dance numbers, including one in particular with potatoes being forced to move to Connaught or Barbados that captured my husband’s imagination. Xnthony has said in the past he wanted to be a pop star and you can definitely see that in this show. I enjoyed the songs and welcomed the occasional reprise of a song that you’ll often find in the world of musicals. You just have to admire the mix of lyrical and comedy skills in their writing, which the cast more than does their part in bringing to life. But in addition, he has created a work that reminds us of our history in the hopes we are not doomed to repeat it.
I would recommend everyone to check it out if you can.
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