Jorge Andrade, Chris Thorpe and Alexander Kelly update a minstrel’s storytelling tradition for the 21st Century, aided in their retellings by projection, pops, bangs and a good amount of (disturbingly realistic) fake blood.
The tone swings from irreverent dryness to a childlike astonishment that the world should be so, but never slips into real mockery or disdain for their subjects. In fact, it is often the matter of fact delivery that delays the reaction you will have outside of the theatre, realising that, whilst you’re left with the residual feelings of whimsy, these stories are often appalling and occasionally downright brutal. But inside the auditorium you are safe, as a cocooned audience member, to be delighted, shocked and downright saddened by the tales of our times.
Despite the company’s prediction that knowledge of a place you may never visit makes the world seem bigger, the intimacy of the narrative style seems to rather shrink the world instead.
A small, practical complaint arises from the lack of tiered seating in the space, leaving everyone behind the lucky front row to constantly crane and shuffle throughout in order to be able to fully enjoy the whole visual experience along with the audible.
This is no mere travelling show of oddities, a simple freak show of human weirdness, but a true spoken museum; carefully curated stories to be archived with our ears into exhibits that last only as long as the story itself.
- Laura Tosney