The Jabberwock ***

The Jabberwock is an accomplished piece by theatre group The Scarlet Blade, a quintet of young professionally-trained stage-fighters.

Taking a Blair Witch style approach, it begins with a group of friends telling ghost stories around a campfire, until one of them is possessed by the spirit of the tale of the Jabberwock. The rest of the play switches between the imagined land of the Bandersnatch et al and the real-world setting of the camp.
With their background in stage fighting, the story is peppered with several visceral and violent fight scenes, including sword duels, hand-to-hand brawls and wooden stick battles. They are excellent at carrying this off, and at times it looks as though they are really hitting each other. Hard. The venue is tiny, and you are so up close and personal that you can see the sweat and spittle fly as the cast connect viciously and realistically.
With a bigger budget, allowing more in the way of set, costume and pacing, this could have been excellent. As it was, it was still extremely good and fascinating to watch the expertly portrayed action that at times felt as though you were part of.
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