Michael Brunström @ Heroes, Dragonfly

Michael Brunstrӧm beguiles the Fringe once more with a curious and captivating hour on the nation’s second favourite painting

Review by Polly Glynn | 08 Aug 2016
  • Michael Brunstöm @ Dragonfly

Nothing is predictable in Michael Brunstrӧm’s The Hay Wain Reloaded, as we might expect from the winner of last year's Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality. Nothing, that is, besides the mention of The Hay Wain – John Constable’s most celebrated work.

Beginning the hour as Constable himself, Brunström delves into the mind of an artistic genius (both Constable's and his own), highlighting the key themes of The Hay Wain: nostalgia, work and nature. Through a series of vignettes, we soon learn how Constable’s painting embodies such unexpected figures as Noel Edmonds, Mary Quant and Anita Dobson. We also find that Brunstrӧm is the sole patron of the Hay Wain giftshop; beach balls are for sale on exit.

While it is perhaps not quite as sharp as 2015’s The Golden Age of Steam in places, it more than makes up for this in its clever and coherent structure. This makes it a little easier to follow and Brunström is a charming guide. In all, The Hay Wain Reloaded is a ramshackle, surrealist delight.

Michael Brunström: The Hay Wain Reloaded, Heroes @ Dragonfly, 4-13 Aug, 6pm, £5/PWYW