Swashes were buckled and rapiers rattled as Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale The Three Musketeers – or in this case ‘the three miss-keteers’ – was given a fresh twist by Dukes director Sarah Punshon.
This summer’s play in the park saw three of Dumas’ leading protagonists played by women – and threw a talking horse and an extremely flamboyant King Louis into the bargain to leave the audience laughing and cheering in equal measure.
The famous cry of ‘All for one!’ echoed around Lancaster’s Williamson Park as our hero(in)es battled it out with the villainous Cardinal in a tale of intrigue at the French court of Louis XIII.
From Planchet the horse’s witty one-liners and Constance’s droll dialogue though to the hilarious Bollywood esque orange ball finale, this adaptation had fun written all over it.
Delme Thomas as the egocentric King Louis oozes humour and pulls off with aplomb his grandiose costumes and wigs.
Christopher Bianchi rises mightily to the roles of giggle-inducing horse Planchet and production baddie Cardinal Richelieu.
With Lucy Jane Parkinson adeptly playing a female D’Artagnan, the play explores many of the issues around gender and delivers a positive message in the final scene as two of the musketeers – Aramis (Rebecca Banatvala) and Porthos (Helen Katamba) – also reveal themselves as women in disguise.
Nisa Cole plays a comedic Constance who falls in love at first sight with D’Artagnan and holds fast when his true gender is revealed while Milton Lopez is the dashing sole male musketeer Athos who has abandoned love after having his heart broken.
As we promenaded from one scene to another – don’t get too comfy for the first scene; it’s very short – I was captivated by this plot of peril and swashbuckling adventure which ultimately had a very warm heart at its core.
The final line goes to a friend, now a mobility scooter user, who wanted to vouch for the fact that all the different locations are fully accessible.
*The Three Musketeers runs until Saturday, August 18 excluding Mondays and some Sundays.