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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Live couples therapy: Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me @sohotheatre

Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me, currently playing at the Soho Theatre is a theatrical endurance piece, both for the performers and the audience as it attempts to describe a relationship, or a relationship re imagined.

It should be part of Soho Theatre’s programme of weird shit to see in the West End. It’s alienating, amusing and infuriating. So depending on your frame of mind you’re going to love it or think you are trapped. I suspect the intention is to feel both. Thankfully it only lasts a little over an hour.

Performed by theatrical group Made In China - which consists of Tim Cowbury and Jessica Latowicki - it is presented as a one woman show with the shadowy Tim standing in the control box, venturing out only to get a beer.

It starts with an extended dance sequence that combined with sound effects seemed like it was depicting a woman trapped in a washing machine. With all the gyrations and arms spinning as if they were about to pop out of their sockets, it looked like something a physiotherapist wouldn’t recommend. It then moved into a series of monologues and random riffs on a relationship that is partly real and partly fiction.

The central message seems to be a relationship is never what you think it is going to be, and definitely not what it is like in the movies.

There is audience participation, weird stuff and a lot of movement. You know you’re in for a fun time when the set includes a fan that can blow hair about in a dramatic fashion.

I get the feeling that it probably played better at the Edinburgh Fringe where the unique and weird does shine out like a beacon of hope amongst the sea of earnest mediocrity. But it still felt like a forty minute concept stretched to over an hour.

It’s been running for a week and concludes on Saturday 26 October. See it with somebody you’re weirdly attracted to.


Photo credit: David Monteith-Hodge

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