Among the roster of events in the London Festival of Architecture having no real connection to architecture at all, but for which we're happy anyway, take note of this one. RADA is set to stage a free performance this Saturday adapted from Gargantua and Pantagruel, the lowbrow opus of Renaissance avant-gardist and enemy of public mores François Rabelais.
Being a very physical tale about an enormous giant, this performance would never have satisfyingly fit into the confines of RADA's theatre, so they're taking it outside into Montague Place for a free public spectacle of grand proportions — oversized puppets, Renaissance song-and-dance and all. We can only imagine they must have cleaned up the story quite a bit to make it fit for public eyes, as centuries after its publication the novel is still more colourful than an American Pie film (if you don't believe that, have a taste of the Project Gutenberg e-text here). But even if we don't get to witness Gargantua relieving himself and drowning an army, or making dozens of jokes about the size of his codpiece, it's sure to be something unique.
Note that RADA is also using the same outdoor space to perform Much Ado About Nothing on Sunday, but can you honestly say that sounds like nearly as much fun?
By Paul Cox
Gargantua is on from 4-6pm, Saturday 5 July, in Montague Place. For more information visit the London Festival of Architecture website.