Knightmare Live - Level 2

For fans of the original kids' show, Knightmare Live - Level 2 is a dream come true. For novice adventurers it's pretty great too: Even if you don't know your Sword of Justice from your Shield of Liberty, this is a rollocking ride through swords, sorcery and spelling challenges.

Knightmare Live is fantastic fun whether you be a dungeon master or a dunce.

The real magic of this show is the fine line it tows between reverence and mockery in every aspect of production. Central to this effect is an absolutely spellbinding cast: McGarrity, Flannery, Fostekew and Bell not only resurrect fan favourite characters, but simultaneously satirise the whole show in a way that endears them to the audience instantly. Bell's quick quips and little snickers as Lord Fear make it quite clear that there's a geeked-out fanboy grinning back at us from behind the black and white facepaint. Fostekew's imbecilic Pickle the elf, whose laughworthy lines are delivered in near-non sequitur with a face frozen in wide-eyed idiocy, perfectly captures the dodgy function of old-school scripted video games in lung-bustingly funny fashion.

In terms of design, conjuring up CITV's CGI dungeons is no mean feat. Knightmare Live's canvas and timber sixth-form-panto-style set is impressively imaginative, yet simultaneously shoddy enough to capture the ropey high-fantasy kitsch of the original broadcast. Testament to this balancing act is the fact that the show summons fully-articulated demons and dragons one minute, whilst our noble champion unwittingly walks through a wall and smashes up the flats at the back in the next.

The only critical chinks in Knightmare's armour are those inherent in its form, and these are minimal: With a different corps of comedian contestants each night, gag value may vary given their personal comic calibre (the evening I went our three heroes were a little insipid). Likewise, watching the merry band instruct one another on how to walk around a room - as per the original programme - grows older than one of the witches we meet in the dungeon.

Such grumbles, however, are negligible. Knightmare Live is fantastic fun whether you be a dungeon master or a dunce. Grab your wands, wallets and wizard's robes and go adventuring. 

Reviews by Jack Powell

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The Blurb

Welcome, watchers of illusion to Level 2. Following last year's sell-out Edinburgh run and national tour, Knightmare Live returns with more adventure, characters, puzzles and monsters in this critically acclaimed stage adaption of the cult TV classic. Each day one member of the public will be guided by two guest comedians through Treguard's dungeon but will they succeed in their quest, or fall foul to one of Lord Fear's schemes? ‘Never misses a beat’ (Independent). ‘A nostalgic dream come true’ (Time Out). ‘Expect at least 40% more danger’ (Lord Fear).