Following a critically acclaimed reception at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lost Dog brought their unique reinvention of Milton’s epic poem to the intimate and unusual setting of a hay-barn in Jevington.

Milton’s poem was given an absurdist make-over by the captivating Ben Duke, who unflinchingly commanded the stage for the entire performance with the support of just a few simple but imaginative props.

The choice to begin the performance with a reading of the end of the poem hinted at the many reversals to come.

Duke played an uncertain and self-conscious creator, representing every character in a script that was by turns disarmingly witty and sensitively sobering.

Interpretive dance scenes describing God’s unorthodox creative techniques, made universally accessible by Duke’s keen grasp of physical comedy, were visually stunning. The score covered music from Bach to Janis Joplin, reflecting the integration of the traditional with the modern that underpinned the script.

Although surely a comedy, it was not without its serious moments, and culminated in a powerful final scene.

An ambitious blend of theatre and dance, Lost Dog’s production immaculately held the balance, being hugely entertaining without sacrificing the gravity of the original piece.

Five stars