If you were a child during the late eighties or early nineties, the chances are that you remember the ITV game show Knightmare, in which teams of children directed one of their fellows, wearing a heavy horned helmet (the ‘Helmet of Justice’), around a part live-action, part computer drawn maze. Unless you’re my friend, that is, who agreed to come and see this with me but realised once we got inside the Udderbelly tent (that unmissable upside-down purple cow on the South Bank) that she’d actually been thinking of a different show. Still, she did enjoy it, though I suspect this is the sort of thing that will get the most out of if you’re familiar with the concept.
In this live version, we are hosted by Tregard, the Dungeon Master (Paul Flannery), with occasional appearances by his arch enemy Lord Fear (Brendan Murphy). The Knights of the quest are drawn from members of the audience, some of whom perform better than others, and they are guided by random comics. As we see the chosen one move through rooms, we are encouraged to shout out suggestions and catchphrases (“Where am I?” “IN A ROOM”). Apart from the odd audience member who wasn’t as funny as she thought she was (there’s always one), the audience was a pretty good one, clapping at the right moments and generally enjoying pretending they were back in the nineties.
There was great excitement towards the end of the show as we were treated to an appearance by the original Tregard. In fact one of my favourite moments of the show was the one where the audience member takes off her helmet and the sheer excitement on her face when she’s realised who is stood in front of her. Overall, a brilliant show.