The thick of it
The short (but not so short) opinions on the shows so far from Robert Garner, who insists he's not that artsy
The Iconoclasts: This took a while to get rolling. I thought the band were great, and I loved the charisma of the lead singer – he really held the show together.
To be honest I didn’t find the comic that funny, I don’t know if that was the point, but I feel I should laugh more than twice during a stand-up routine. Also, risky call on ending the routine on the miscarriage bombshell, really lets you appreciate the comedy.
The mother’s act was all right I guess, didn’t do anything special for me. When the magician appeared that’s when the show started to pick up for me, the break down of the "show" worked really well in terms of the narrative, but I couldn’t help but feel unsatisfied somehow. It felt like a cop out to not do any real magic tricks and I couldn’t help but feel unfulfilled by that.
The drag act was OK, and it moved the narrative forward, but I don’t have much to say on it other than that. The highlight of the show for me was the a capella song towards the middle of the show, and I felt that this was a truly beautiful moment.
The main problem I had as a whole was that the show was marketed as a musical, but I didn’t leave the theatre humming any of the tunes. This, in my personal opinion, means that the musical has failed at a certain level because I believe that a successful musical needs memorable songs.
On a final note I will say this, the Magician is an arsehole, and I would have been quite satisfied with the show just ending with the family walking out on him at the end
TL;DR: Yeah, worth a watch, you’ll get into it after a while, but the music isn’t the best.
he she they: I wasn’t sure about the show coming into it as I’ve had bad experiences with movement pieces in the past, but I have to say, I really enjoyed the show. The dances were amazing, and even though they may have gone on a bit too long at times, the show as a whole didn’t feel too long.
It lost me slightly at the angry stand-up section but other than that I was captivated throughout.
The message as a whole was clearish, but it did lose me at parts (maybe because I’m thick). As a whole I enjoyed it and it’s a definite must-watch.
Blackbird: This one won’t take long as I only have a few things to say about it.
I enjoyed the comedy of it and the lead character was fantastic. The thing that really lets the piece down for me is the length. After a while I just switched off and got bored, which I was quite annoyed at because I really enjoyed that start.
The symbolism of the play was completely lost on me, and again, I don’t know if this is because I’m thick, but I didn’t understand the significance of the raven/crow (I forget what bird it is) and the missing hands.
As a whole it was good for a bit, but it just seemed to drag after a while.
Hidden: First off, I’d just like to say, as a member of the Technical Team, how much I enjoyed seeing a show in the space that I helped build over two days.
Anyway, Hidden. It was amazing. I have never seen such amazing and diverse acting before. I loved the distinct changes between all the characters, and I loved the fact that the show at first seemed so fragmented, but then slowly came together as the show progressed. It was engaging and just about the right length.
I cannot recommend any show more out of these four. I have the attention span of a 3-year-old and this kept me engaged the whole time. It was just brilliant and my words will not do it enough justice.
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Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca