One man’s journey of self-discovery - with his aunt
Vibrant and innovative theatre company Creative Cow is back once again and promises an evening of intoxicating adventure in an adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel Travels With My Aunt.
Described by Greene as ‘the only book I have ever written for the fun of it’, the play takes its audience on a whirlwind journey, plotting one very ordinary man’s extraordinary journey of self-discovery. The play comes to the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds between May 5-7.
Creative Cow chose to tour Travels with my Aunt to mark this year’s 25th anniversary of Graham Greene’s death.
Just four actors will represent 20 colourful characters - each playing a part in retired, rather boring, suburban bank manager Henry Pulling’s great transformation.
The unlikely hero of the play – Henry - leads a quiet, risk-free and dull, bachelor life, effectively retired from work, life and the world.
Until, that is, his eccentric Aunt Augusta persuades him to travel with her to Brighton and Paris, then on to Istanbul and across the world to Paraguay.
Through her he joins a shifty twilight society of pot-smoking hippies, war criminals, men from the CIA and hard core art smugglers.
He puts his colourless and predictable life behind him as he finds himself changing beyond recognition.
The storyline of Travels with my Aunt not only mirrors Greene’s own real life obsession with travelling, often to the most dangerous spots on the planet, but also takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the fictional world created by Greene in his seventeen previous novels.
Other aspects of Greene’s life; his secret service work, his brushes with criminals, his constant itinerancy, among others, are all represented in the story.
Unlike Greene’s other works which are inextricably concerned with the future of the soul and the afterlife, Travels with My Aunt explores the here and now.
Says actor and co-founder member of Creative Cow Theatre Company, Katherine Senior; ‘We love the way Travels with my Aunt traces two voyages in parallel – one a physical cross-continental journey by plane, train and boat and the other a mind-blowing, eye-opening journey of self-discovery.
“Henry couldn’t be more different from Greene himself, who was adventurous, risk-loving and unconventional - but can we perhaps see some similarities by the end?
“It’s a great pleasure to be touring this work by one of our favourite authors in this anniversary year.’
Creative Cow is a touring theatre company created in the farm yards of Devon in 2007 by founders Amanda Knott, Matthew Parish and Katherine Senior.
Their aim has always been to present the most exciting, daring and fun night out possible, touring the length and breadth of the country and performing in spaces ranging from the very large to the most intimate.
The company’s huge successes to date have included Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, Dickens’ Hard Times, Harold Pinter’s The Lover, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, Sheridan’s The Rivals and the company have recently visited with Brandon Thomas’s Charley’s Aunt and Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer.
Travels with my Aunt is produced by Creative Cow in association with Malvern Theatres, adapted for stage by Giles Havergal and directed by Amanda Knott.
For tickets call 01284 769505 or visit www.theatreroyal.org/shows/travels-with-my-aunt.