Posts Tagged ‘Paul Barritt’

I never thought theatre company 1927 could top their last show, The Animals & Children Took to the Streets, but they have. They are a genre all of their own, with the most extraordinary blend of animation, performance and music and the subject matter of this new show, human-technology interaction, completely suits the form. It must be the most original, clever and slickest show in town.

Brother and sister Rob & Annie Robertson live with their Grandma. Rob works in an office and they both play in the political punk band Annie & the Underdogs. Grandma stays at home knitting and pining for her deceased husband Stanley. Rob’s nerdy friend invents the Golem, a crude robotic helper-companion, and Rob takes one home. From here, we see the impact at home, in work, in relationships and in society in general as Golem evolves into Mark II and Mark III.

Settings and animation are projected onto the back screen and the actors perform in front of it and, with seamless synchronisation, interact with it. The visual style of Paul Barritt & performer Esme Appleton’s design, with costumes by Sarah Munro, is a unique, quirky, cartoonish, surrealism. The music by another performer, Lillian Henley, is equally quirky and other-worldly and adds much to the atmosphere of the piece. It’s funny as well as being extraordinarily inventive and it’s great storytelling too.

1927 aren’t even ten years old, and this is only their third show (not counting an opera adaptation in Germany, a film and a music collaboration!) but they are already masters of their craft. Founders Suzanne Andrade (writer and director) and Paul Barritt (animation, film and design) have created something very special and unmissable.


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A few years ago, I took some weekend visitors to BAC to see one of those Edinburgh ‘ones that got away’. It was called ‘Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea’ and it was enthralling – big hit with us all. A combination of film / animation, performance and music, it was impossible to describe but impossible not to fall in love with it. It’s taken the young company 1927 a while to come up with their second show, but it builds on it and  moves them forward significantly.

Before it starts, you’re forced to engage with leopardskin-clad usherettes with customer service skills that can best be described as diffident, contemptuous and downright rude! Then Paul Barrit’s extraordinary film – part cartoon, part silent movie, sometimes sweet, sometimes edgy – starts to play on three screens. It continues throughout, with three actor musicians – Suzanne Andrade (also writer / director), Esme Appleton (also costumes)  & Lillian Henley (also music) – interacting with it to tell the stories of the inhabitants of a block of flats.

The virtuosity is breathtaking, the technical skills positively awesome and you are swept away with the creativity whilst being thoroughly entertained by something like nothing you’ve ever seen before. 1927 have truly created a genre all of their own and I can’t wait for their next show. The delay since the first seems to have been the result of  a world tour – I can’t think of a better advert for British creativity, innovation and ingenuity.

I can’t recommend this show enough. GO!

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