Mungo Park – Travels in the Interior of Africa

Mungo Park proved that any true Scotsman would do almost anything to avoid spending another bloody day in Selkirk. He was an African explorer before it was fashionable and a complicated man in a complicated time. Dogstar Theater’s show about his life is a playful and thought-provoking triumph.

A breakneck rollercoaster ride of a show with plenty of laughs to be had on the way.

The show revolves around Mungo Park’s time spent looking for the source of the River Niger in 1795 and again in 1805. It charts the trials and tribulations he faced, the many interesting friends and foes. It’s not an in-depth character study of one man, but more a snapshot of a nation in blissful ignorance of what is to come, which becomes all clearer as the show progresses, for those that wish to see it.

It’s a show that loves to play with binary oppositions: it’s a Hollywood blockbuster but on stage. It mixes comedy and drama very well and often you can’t tell where one starts and the other begins, a clever tool to toy with the emotions. It's got a fast pace, so it zips along nicely all underscored by a great soundtrack which does a lot to set the mood.

Matthew Zajac plays Mungo and he is certainly cementing himself as one of my favourite contemporary stage actors. Not to give anything away but the characters entrance on stage is brilliant and it mirrored nicely at the end. He’s joined by Anders Christensen and Kingsley Amadi, both great actors. The trio have a fantastic chemistry and an impressive amount of energy.

It’s a breakneck rollercoaster ride of a show with plenty of laughs to be had on the way. It blends its politics cunningly into the foreground, leaving a show with plenty of depth for those wishing to delve in. 

Reviews by James W. Woe

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Tragi-comic, theatrically daring Scottish-Danish co-production examining anew Europe’s colonial legacy through the idealistic 18th century Scottish explorer’s adventures and misadventures. Mungo Park led expeditions to West Africa to chart the River Niger and investigate tales of vast wealth. Featuring Matthew Zajac as Park. Dogstar Theatre Company (Scotland) and Mungo Park Arts Centre (Denmark) present Mungo Park – Travels in the Interior of Africa by Martin Lyngbo, director, and Thor Bjorn Krebs. 'Hilarious and radical' (Politiken, Denmark).