Posts Tagged ‘Secret Theatre’

I’m not really sure what I think of this show and I’m not really sure what to write about it. The words that spring to mind are brave, exhausting, pointless, original, and improvisation. See what I mean?

Eight actors (though ten are listed in the programme) in work-out cloths mingle with the audience, eight of whom are asked to write their name (the actor, not the audience member!) on a card and put it in a hat from which one is selected and read out by another audience member. This is the protagonist, the actor who will tonight attempt said acts with the help / hindrance of their colleagues, the fixed sequence of which is written on flip-chart paper at both sides of the stage. An ‘assault course’ including attempting to get into a suitcase and eating a lemon happens three times, the third time with added teamwork. The other acts include cloths removal / swapping fights, hands in an ice bucket and a scene from Romeo & Juliet.

It’s a very uneven 70 minute ride – intriguing, occasionally funny, sometimes tedious, more than a touch self-indulgent and a bit pointless. I’m not sure how much is improvised, but some clearly is. Nadia Albina was the protagonist the night I went, braver than most to undertake such an exhausting experience with a disability to contend with. The problem with having a protagonist though is that seven actors spend most of the evening in chairs watching, a bit of a waste of talent.

This was the 5th in the ‘secret theatre’ series presented at the Lyric Hammersmith, with the same actors in a diverse range of shows. Though the idea was original, as this show is, I wasn’t prepared to invest precious evenings playing pot luck so I missed them all. On this showing, I think I might have been right.

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