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Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
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The buzz around Ontroerend Goed's Audience at Soho Theatre is palpable. Quite apart from the genuinely excited crowd outside the theatre on Friday night, people have been talking about it since this year's Edinburgh Fringe. This is the type of show that divides theatregoers into two distinct camps; those who buy it, and those who don't.

Turning the focus on the, ahem, audience from the very moment that we step into the theatre, the show looks at notions of collective responsibility, audience behaviour and audience expectation. This all sounds a bit dry and academic but the style of production is very whizzy and achingly post-modern; video screen, quicker cuts than MTV and an extensive use of a camcorder.

Actors sit amongst us in the stalls bringing an excitement that is laced with the tiniest amount of fear - what are they going to do?

The answer to that is simple - this is a slight confection, a lot of sound and well edited fury signifying not very much at all. In one of the more risqué moments, one of the actors rounds on a female member of the audience, reducing her in many uncomfortable minutes to a miserable shadow of her former self. But the fact that she is so obviously a part of the company means that the show loses its integrity at the very moment the audience is willing it to be wonderful.

I really wanted to fall in love with this show. There is nothing I like more that a bit of theatrical cleverness, unfortunately, this show walks the walk of clever while talking the talk of stupid. No amount of visual trickery can disguise the fact there is a gaping hole where its brain should be.

Did I buy it? Sadly, not for all of the tea in China.

- Radica Anikpe


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