Miguel De Cervantes' comic novel is widely regarded as one of the foundation stones of modern fiction. It was newly adapted for the stage by James Fenton and directed by Angus Jackson to mark the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' death at the Swan Theatre, RSC in 2016.
After a lifetime of reading books on chivalry, Don Quixote decides to embark on a quest of his own. Taking up a lance and sword, he sets out to become a wandering knight, defending the helpless and vanquishing the wicked. Hopelessly unprepared and increasingly losing his grip on reality, he travels across Spain accompanied by his faithful and equally ill-suited squire. With each calamitous adventure they experience, the romantic ideal of Quixote's books seems further away than ever.
Starring David Threlfall as Don Quixote and Rufus Hound as his squire Sancho Panza the production featured 19 songs written by Grant and James Fenton, played live by a six piece band. The show was a huge hit with audiences and critics alike and the fun and anarchy injected into the piece by One Man Two Guvnors' comedy director Cal McCrystal elevated Don Quixote to wondrous comic heights.
"A lovely, music-filled production that makes use of every possible theatrical device: puppetry, comic props, improvised comedy and music by Grant Olding that gives the action a Hispanic resonance."
"Grant Olding’s music delights, wittily incorporated into the action. At one point, Quixote launches into a shaky lament, his armour rattling as he sings – impromptu percussion. And, in ensuing mobbings, his assailants beat him like a drum."
"The evening is one of the most seriously enjoyable at the RSC in a very long time, with wheezily Hispanic songs by Grant Olding" **** Whatsonstage
"It treads the fine line between a musical and a play with music, threaded throughout with gorgeous Anglo-Spanish songs and flawless six part harmonies." BroadwayWorld
"Triumphant" **** Daily Telegraph