Monday, 23 April 2012

Swampy Saturday

There's something very special going on in the West End at the moment. In amongst all the ridiculously well-advertised and vastly overpriced musicals and plays, all boasting their super famour line-up, is a wonderful little show. It's on at the Soho Theatre and it goes by the name of Swamp Juice. Amidst all the glitzy, so-called glamour of the West End shows is a gorgeous little beast that will mesmerise you for a bewitching hour.

I'd seen a ton of rave reviews for Swamp Juice while I was up in Edinburgh last year. However, due to already being involved in two woeful children's shows, I was unable to find the time to see it inbetween time spent performing to an empty theatre and wondering just how quickly one could suffocate themselves under a giant inflatable cow. So I didn't see it. And, I'll be honest, I was vaguely aware of it being on at the Soho Theatre at the moment but I hadn't really given it any thought about heading down. However, fate was being a wonderful mistress on Saturday night and T was given a surprise night off. So, giddy on the excitement of having a sudden weekend evening to ourselves and being a pair of overgrown kids, we booked tickets for the one children's show that was on in the evening (sorry Matilda, we can't afford your eye-watering prices right now...)

The evening started interestingly. I think I've mentioned in a previous blog how I'm constantly baffled about how difficult audience members make finding a seat. It has always seemed like such a simple system but I don't think I've ever been to a show where someone has sat in someone else's seat. But there's no such excuse at the Soho Theatre as their seating is unreserved. However, people still made finding a seat more confusingly difficult than a team of lemurs trying to solve a Mensa puzzle. There was climbing, clambering and some of the most feeble shuffling that I've ever seen. Worried that we'd gone to see a show that only appealed to the socially inept, we were worried.

But the lights went down and the next hour was full of awesome incredibleness that I'm not going to try and explain. What I will tell you is that it's a one man show that somehow keeps you gripped for sixty wonderful minutes while this one, very clever performer keeps you entertained with shadow puppets made of junk. It's inventive, it's funny and it'll make you feel like a child seeing things for the first time again. And then, just when you think he's exhausted the world of shadow puppetry, you're treated to something I wasn't aware was even possible in the theatre. (I won't ruin it because I fully expect you all to go and see the show this week.) When the show was sadly over, T (who even got to be part of the show) and I spent a good long time after excitedly gabbling about the things we'd just seen. It's on until the 5th May and you can book tickets here (and I strongly sugggest that you do.) Even if you think puppetry ain't your bag, I can't recommend this show enough. In the world of theatre where so much is based on how you look and how well your name can sell tickets, it's incredibly heartening to see a show that just uses rubbish, lighting and just a love for their craft that outshines them all.

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