Venue: Contact Theatre
Where: Manchester

Eggs Collective, Contact’s all-female partner company, presents a riotous mixed omelette of live music, spoken word, comedy and dance – in which a quirky collection of characters assembles to ponder the meaning of life, death and everything in between.  In this curious mix of the serious with the plain silly, a cheerful air hostess welcomes the audience on board with a none-too-reassuring safety announcement, a pregnant lady is overwhelmed by a cardboard fortress of baby products, and Death plays a Casio keyboard.

However, the show confirms that nothing in life, even raucous sketch comedy, is ever what it’s cracked up to be: the increasingly dishevelled air hostess is flying through life alone, never touching down long enough to fall in love – and Death just wants a bit of time off and the chance to make friends.  In between the cardboard cyborgs and cat puns, the collective treats us to a handful of more poignant moments. The highlight of these is a Portuguese spoken word and dance piece performed by Dora Da Cruz, which is funny, warm and genuinely engaging.

With the free range of acts being showcased, it’s not always clear where they fit into the “tough questions” and “timeless debates” mentioned in the show’s promotional material.  This doesn’t seem to worry the audience at Contact, who largely seem to be in the know – and are on their feet dancing to Belinda Carlisle almost before it’s requested. Despite the fact that the material lacks focus at times, though, there’s enough talent – musical, literary and physical – in the room for a good evening’s entertainment.

- Harriet Judd