One man plays many parts in tale of a boy, a calf and a war
It is a play about a child, an animal and a war, based on a story by master of the genre, Devon-based writer Michael Morpurgo. But this time, it is not W ar Horse.
Toro! Toro! is the story of a young boy called Antonito and his fight to save his bull calf Paco from the bullring, just as civil war is about to break out in Spain.
Originally produced for the Salisbury Playhouse three years ago, Simon Reade's critically-acclaimed adaptation is on at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter from Tuesday to Saturday next week.
With War Horse running at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth until tomorrow week, this makes it a bit of a Morpurgo season in the Westcountry. But unlike the epic National Theatre production, which has a cast of 34, Toro! Toro! has just one –- actor Gary Turner.
FREE WHEATGERM WITH EVERY POND HEATER www.blagdon-water-gardens.c...View details
Protect your pond fish this winter. Purchase the resun 100w pond heater £39.99 from www.blagdon-water-gardens.co.uk and we will give you a pot of Tetra wheatgerm 1l winter fishfood worth £4.99 FREE
Contact: 01934 316673
Valid until: Friday, February 28 2014
Gary, from Colchester in Essex, narrates the story, and also acts out scenes from the points of view of different characters, including Antonito as a young boy and in old age, the Matador, and Antonito's evil Uncle Juan.
"It is a good story, well told, and it is very moving," says Gary. "I don't want to spoil the story too much, but it is about a young boy growing up in Spain in 1936 during the Civil War. One stormy night, he helps his dad at the birth of a young bull calf. Antonito raises the little bull calf, and they are inseparable."
But trouble is brewing as Uncle Juan plots to sell the calf, and war edges closer to the village where they live.
"Michael Morpurgo always has a child, an animal and a war. It is a very good formula," says Gary. "He writes about death and horrible things, but in a way that young people can relate to."
Gary, who is married with two young daughters, last visited Exeter five years ago to take part in open air production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.
While on that occasion he was part of a large cast, this time he's the only one on stage, something which has its up sides and down sides.
"I love it, personally, because I have done a lot of improvisation, but it was the scariest thing on the first night. I remember standing in the corridor on the first night, and thinking 'it is just me! I am the cast'."