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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

Made up voices: Me and Mr C @Ovalhouse

After watching Gary Kitching’s improvised performance at Oval House Theatre, Me and Mr C, you realise that you probably had the most fun you could invent for an evening.

On our night, audience members were chanting “Pigfucker! Pigfucker! Pigfucker!” as part of a lesson in organised heckling, while the remainder of us were rolling around in hysterics at the premise.

Kitching has come up with an act that derives its humour from getting the audience to do stuff. Lots of stuff. And amazingly everyone does what they are told.

The premise is simple. Mr C is the ventriloquist dummy that he bought online, and becomes the voice inside his head that he is no good.

But along the way Kitching invites the audience to give him the ideas for the dullest job imaginable, the dreary items people have in their front rooms, their kitchens and their hallways. Words of good advice are noted down and it all becomes part of the piece he then acts out the story of a man who wants to do a job he really loves.

Audience participation can be tricky and (particularly with jaded London theatregoers) it can be difficult getting anyone wanting to get involved. Perhaps the lively and funky audiences of the Ovalhouse were much more open minded. They at least had inspired suggestions for the choice of music at key parts of the story.

In the end people went along with the ride. But as Kitching warns at the start, “it could be shit.” I suspect he is too smart for it to be that, but every night certainly will be different.

Me and Mr C is part of the Fabulism season at Ovalhouse which concludes this month. The season has been about covering the fantastical in the everyday. Check out Gary Kitching’s website for other dates for Me and Mr C.


"Me and Mr C" by Gary Kitching from Selma Greyscale on Vimeo.

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