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Show 6 (West Yorkshire Playhouse)

Following their debut at this year's Edinburgh fringe, Secret Theatre take their "festival" of shows on tour

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Another offering from the Secret Theatre (forming part of the Lyric Hammersmith company's five-show stint at the West Yorkshire Playhouse), Show 6 is a strange and bold drama by playwright, Mark Ravenhill.

Matti Houghton in Secret Theatre's Show 6
© Helen Maybanks

On this occasion, the three-strong cast comprised Cara Horgan, Matti Houghton and Steven Webb (although this changes for each show). Webb plays a young spoilt brat of a man who gets involves in an altercation that leads to a startling discovery about his past.

However, anyone thinking that sounds pretty straightforward would be mistaken, as the forty-five-minute show twists and turns down some pretty odd paths.

Horgan and Houghton both play multiple characters, as Webb's mother, friend and members of a support group for the grown-up children of parents supposedly ripped away from their families and banged up in an asylum following a proletariat coup (see what I mean about straightforward?).

Performed with great energy by the cast, particularly Webb, this is an exciting and intriguing show that veers into the provocative on more than one occasion. It's also worth pointing out that there's quite a lot of profanity (up to and including the c-word). The strangely stilted dialogue does start to wear a bit thin after a while but, overall, this is an original piece which shows off the boldness and originality of Secret Theatre.

It won't be to everyone's taste, but that's probably the whole point.

The Secret Theatre festival continues at West Yorkshire Playhouse until 27 September 2014 before touring a selection of productions to the following venues:

30 Sep - 4 Oct: Hull Truck Theatre

7 - 18 Oct: Arts Depot, North Finchley

21 Oct - 1 Nov: Manchester Royal Exchange

11 - 22 Nov: Warwick Arts Centre

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