Sunday, December 6, 2009

Carry On Thought Criminals

It’s been a busy week. Long days and late nights punctuated by theatre. Let’s have a recap, in fact lets do a montage, turn up the stereo, radio, cassette player or iTunes depending on the era you’re living in and prepare for short snappy reviews. Let me start with last Saturday’s trip to Rich Mix over Brick Lane way to see Hardgraft's Poles Apart. A clever Brecht-infused take on the immigration issue where two Brits tried their hand at finding jobs in Warsaw. What followed was a comical tale of their endeavors, nods to Polish culture, and with just a ball of string Hard Graft demonstrated that no matter where we’re from we can all be joined together.

Come Tuesday I was at the BAC to see Amanda Lawrence's Charles Hawtrey biopic Jiggery Pokery.
In fact ‘biopic’ doesn’t do justice to what Lawrence created. Playing a plethora of diverse roles, she explored Hawtrey’s life on and off stage, shedding light on the infamous alcoholic made famous by the Carry On films. Lawrence’s performance had more energy than an entire X Factor audience as she darted around the stage in one scene playing a young Hawtrey, his mother as well as various actors and agents. A truly fantastic play.

The next day I found myself in a stormy Vauxhall at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) for The Festive Happening featuring cabaret artists Bourgeois & Maurice, Johnny Woo and Scottee who made the traditional Xmas Knit look more glamorous than a night out at The Birdcage. Laugh’s a plenty as they rip-roared through a Barack Obama mime of Beyonce’s Halo, breast bursting performance poetry, and B&M’s 21st century dilemma Don’t Google Me Mother.

I polished off the week with a preview showing of Blind Summit's version of the classic Orwell novel 1984. If you’re expecting the serious intelligent tension of the book then think again. Blind Summit’s take turned what’s become a popular critique of society on its head. Borrowing the Brechtian style of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Blind Summit began the show with a squad of thought police on the way to the BAC to perform the story of Winston and Julia, the thought criminals. Sets were words on paper cards and The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism was creatively performed as a complete puppet show with paper words and pictures. It begs the thought, if only all politics could be taught in this way?


Beth said...

I'm finally getting caught up on my Google Reader and commenting on some posts. It was great to meet you and Melanie last week, I hope you all enjoyed the rest of your evening.

You've also just reminded me I didn't mention the string in my post. Damn it.

Ellie said...

You do get out!