"Jos Vantyler is inspired as Don Armado, hilariously capturing the mangled verbal extravagance of this Spanish grandee (“it is the king’s most sweet pleasure and affection to congratulate the Princess at her pavilion in the posteriors of this day, which the rude multitude call the afternoon”) and the barking, self-besotted attitudes that make it no surprise that Don A is a compatriot of Salvador Dali.."  

"Jos Vantyler does a great job of channelling the original mannerisms of the childcatcher, while putting in his own original spin, brilliant!" 

"Jos Vantyler looks like he’s stumbled off a Spanish soap opera as the flouncing knight Armado, driven mad by love. He certainly wins over the audience... Vantyler also plays Armado’s page and spends a lot of time talking and singing to his shadow. It’s a show-stealing turn"  

"The Childcatcher has to be most people worst nightmares, everyone remembers that character as a child. To bring that to life on stage and be absolutely terrifying is a challenge, one that Jos Vantyler nails. He was the perfect Villain, the children around me (and possibly even myself…) were shivering in their seats whenever he came on. A performance I shall remember for a long time! " 

''Jos Vantyler appals as Mel Carney, the inexhaustible promoter of questionable morals and even more questionable sanity, veering precipitously from threatening bully to wheedling charmer with extraordinary acuity''                         

"Liam Steel’s beautiful staging, based on the 1987 John Kane adaptation, is simultaneously sparse and richly theatrical. Jos Vantyler cackles as a turbaned, cocktail-swigging Wicked Witch of the West, and Kelly Agbowu a rousing Lion. But these are performances played with sincerity and smarts, avoiding easy camp which might have diffused the peril"  

"Jos Vantyler, achieves a tour-de-force as he assumes – if I counted accurately – 17 different characters throughout the piece, two major roles performed in counterpoint and displaying a range of gentle sensitivity, requisite comic lightness and when needed, very convincing physicality – most notably as an amoral, macho tango teacher."

"Liam Steel’s beautiful staging, based on the 1987 John Kane adaptation, is simultaneously sparse and richly theatrical. Jos Vantyler cackles as a turbaned, cocktail-swigging Wicked Witch of the West, and Kelly Agbowu a rousing Lion. But these are performances played with sincerity and smarts, avoiding easy camp which might have diffused the peril" 

"However, it’s Jos Vantyler as Don Armado (pictured above left) who really steals the limelight, and his comic braggadocio energy overcomes (largely) a lingering sense of cultural dodginess about the portrayal of this “fantastical Spaniard”, one that certainly plays up to present-day tropes. If it wasn’t enough that he gets plenty of contempo interpolations – a rendition of “To All the Girls I Loved Before” included – Bagnall has also given him responsibility for playing his own servant, Moth. That might easily sound like a gimmick, but the way Vantyler accomplishes it – like he’s talking down to a diminutive, invisible puppet, then replying to himself in a squeaky Yorkshire accent – is actually enormously engaging, and the actor deserves the round of applause he gets for the moment when he’s even triple-playing roles" 

"Which leads us into probably the most unsettling villain of all within this tale, The Childcatcher (Jos Vantyler). Although a larger than life character he truly is unsettling. This was not just because of Vantyler’s stage presence but also in relation to the atmosphere that’s set around him when he appears. Be it the giant shadow of himself that gets projected just before he makes his presence known or with the haunting laugh that accompanies him." 

"There are some very enjoyable performances. In particular, Jos Vantyler is a lip-smackingly camp Don Armado, all preening gestures and sibilant vowels who appears resplendent on Kirby wires as Judas Maccabeus in the play within a play. His musical number “To all the girls I love”, delivered in a plaintive falsetto, is a highlight. "

 

"Mel proves to be the real attraction here, played to perfection by the mesmerising Jos Vantyler… as grotesque and gorgeous a spectacle as the whole show put together."
A Younger Theatre.

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