Tweeting it: Bawdy Victorian Music Hall entertainment in the 21st century. Not for those who seek subtlety in their innuendo 3***
I didn’t expect to feel like I was at the panto when I went along to Above The Stag Theatre to see their musical Romance Romance in March, but that’s exactly where my brain went. I soon realised that it was slightly unfair to do so as the music far exceeded anything you’d find at a pantomime. Thank goodness.
And the music was glorious. Not particularly complicated or sophisticated but the melodies were catchy and the lyrics well written and beautifully delivered. This, along with the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer innuendo brought me to the Victorian Music Hall.
#Tweetingit – 2** promised to make us wet with excitement. Left us damp and disappointed.
The programme promised a lot. A unique combination of world-class acrobatics, comedy and live opera performed in, on and around bathtubs. Quite a bold claim to make, and whilst technically not wrong this just didn’t add up to an entertaining show.
There were bathtubs, though goodness knows why. There were world-class acrobats performing impressive feats of strength, balance and grace – and doing so with wet hands and feet so extra points to them. There was a woman acting like a particularly dim-witted child, I believe this passes for comedy these days. There was a singer with an excellent voice singing cringingly unsophisticated bathtime-based lyrics to well-known classics. There was lots and lots of splashing, and rather too much spitting for my liking. It did exactly what it promised, but it was boring.
#Tweetingit – 4**** funny, heartrending, thought provoking, troubling. Exactly like gynaecological issues are. Bravo!
I’ll start by nailing my colours to the mast.I am an old school, angry feminist who seethes every time talk about women’s biology is shut down for being disgusting, or private, or unladylike.This meant I was delighted when I heard about Baby Box – a humorous play focussing on endometriosis.
We need to be able to talk about our bodies, particularly when they aren’t functioning as they should, and humour and entertainment is a great way to facilitate this.Bravo to Laura McGrady for writing this play and huge kudos to The Kings Head Theatre for staging it as part of their Who Runs The World feminist season.
The play starts with the introduction of our protagonist, Chloe, through an explanation of what it is to be born female in the UK.We are immensely privileged, though fail to reach the pinnacle thereof due to the slight issue of being born with a tiny womb of our own.We are told that your womb won’t define you, and indeed it shouldn’t, but we know that it will.
The programme tells us that Circus Abyssinia explores a journey of wonders for two little Ethiopian brothers, a surreal explanation of how brothers Bibi and Bichu Tesfamariam found the joy of performing with the circus.The troupe are formed from students at the circus school they founded in Addis Ababa and range in age from 13 to 24.They bring a youthful, if unpolished, exuberance to the performance which seemed to ignite the crowd.
The show started explosively with the whole troupe taking to the round backed by resonant African beats – a theme that continues through the hour long show – and performing some impressive gymnastic moves.Working with no apparatus or safety equipment they leap and are thrown in the air.The athleticism and energy in the performance, not to mention the trust between the performers, was particularly impressive given the age of the performers.