Pigspurt’s Daughter, Hampstead Theatre

Image result for ken campbell

by an anonymous guest critic

Pigspurt’s Daughter is a kalaediscopic, one-woman show in which Daisy Campbell takes the audience on a journey through the life of her father, the theatre legend Ken Campbell. Campbell, for those too young to know of his work, was an eccentric and brilliant theatre impresario, actor, writer, director and producer.

Campbell comes out onto a simple stage where we see posters of Ken, photographs from his performances, literature that had inspired him along with magazines and props. All these items are what Daisy has so far salvaged from all the things he left behind after passing away ten years go.

Daisy Campbell tells us many fascinating anecdotes of what it was like to grow up with Campbell as a parent. This involved accompanying him to screenwriting guru Robert McKee’s three-day seminars, and then travelling to the outskirts of Europe to visit the architectural remains of long-lost civilisations. Campbell’s childhood was certainly not conventional.

These childhood stories are very funny and told brilliantly by Campbell who is a natural performer just as her father was. Although, the mood becomes tragic as she recounts the day that led up to his very sudden death ten years ago.

Campbell then shares her decision to try and exhume her father from his grave a bizarre decision which seems to be guided by his spirit talking to her from beyond. This adventure runs in tandem with her embarking on a publicity stunt with members of the band KLF, who were good friends of her Dad’s.

If you’re having difficulty understanding what this one-woman show is like based on my review, then that’s because it’s a pretty bizarre show to write about. All I can say that it is very funny and entertaining and for anyone who was a fan of Ken Campbell’s work then it’s definitely must see.

Highly recommended.

Pigspurt’s Daughter runs through 14 July.

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