Tim Crouch ”Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel” at Lyceum Theatre Studio – review

Truth's A Dog Must To Kennel
Truth’s A Dog Must To Kennel
© Lyceum Theatre

The much-revered theatre maker Tim Crouch wanders into the bare rehearsal studio opposite the Lyceum Theatre and dons a VR headset.

Sporting jet black goggles, his eyes obscured, he describes what he sees as he points – Stalls Band A, punters tucking into ice creams, sitting uncomfortably after a bougie pre-show meal. Cheap seats in the balcony, restricted views at a discounted rate. Chancers who checked the seating plan to see where empty seats are in the stalls and then hopped down at the last second. It becomes quickly obvious that he is in a very different venue to his audience.

Crouch then launches into the play he’s “virtually” participating in – a new staging of King Lear. The Fool has just exited, wandered out of the show halfway through – never seen again. The act of an exit, one that Crouch is clearly fascinated with, is the launchpad for what becomes an incisive if less cohesive examination into the present state of our theatrical eco-system. The lighting state never changes, and the only prop bar the headset is a microphone and stand.

As is to be expected from the creator of The Author, An Oak Tree or Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, this is performative peregrination at its most meta-theatrical. In the space of an hour, Crouch covers topics of capitalism, mortality and community in this post-pandemic world – one where change was promised but not delivered.

It’s a patchy offering, without the same thematic coup as Crouch offered in Salvation. Hopefully, though, it marks the starting point for a more forensic dissection of whatever form modern theatre is choosing to take, or, perhaps, being forced to take. Or maybe it’s an exit – we’ll just have to wait and see what comes.

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