Have you ever wondered who would win in a celebrity death match between Wolverine and the Incredible Hulk? Well with BLAM! you will find out!
Physical theatre can often be labelled as inaccessible, arty-farty and pretentious. Neander’s BLAM! is certainly none of these things! In fact this show boasts familiarity in abundance, anyone who has ever worked in an office, not wanted to grow up, played with toy guns, and or loves action films should enjoy this 70 minutes of physically demanding showmanship. Even if you don’t enjoy this style of performance I can guarantee you’ll leave with a great party trick – knowing how to make it sound like you have broken your nose using a plastic cup!
BLAM!’s cartoon-esque working title was “crack snap clap cut crush kick kill” after watching the show I can totally understand why!
It’s a slow start and purposefully monotonous beginning for BLAM! The curtain opens on to a set resembling an office, location anywhere.
The audience is immediately faced with the office workers, 4 stock characters whom anyone works in an office will instantly recognise:
Mr Over-protective stationery hoarder, Mr, I’m too cool for this office thus want to play practical jokes and pick on my co-workers, A boss whose sense of self-importance is overridden by his inability to be one of the workers and finally, Mr, I’m here to work – I’ll be in the corner alone, ignoring the rest of you!
As an audience we, along with the performers, experience the boredom, the routine, the lack of excitement in this office accompanied by a soundtrack of typing, water cooler gurgles, coffee pots brewing and staplers at work.
Slowly, this mundane and rather ordinary office story transforms into the ultimate boys playground as each performer acts through a lexicon of iconic Movies.
I challenge each audience member to spot iconic filmic re-plays, I saw Transformers, The Incredible Hulk, Tom & Jerry, Kill Bill, X-men, ET, Rambo, Indiana Jones as well as nods to ER, the glamorous dance movies of the 1940s, Tarantino style action, Jackie chan and Bruce Lee moves and MTV’s celebrity death match.
As we go deeper into each fantasy it becomes less about the boys “acting out films” and the lines blur between their escapism and ours. For me one of the most magical and memorable scenes, of which there are many, is set in the deep dark world of gambling. All 4 performers dance their way through a beer-swilling, joint-smoking, card-playing, table-spinning routine that is mesmerising and perception shifting.
BLAM!’s choreography is a powerful blend of dance, mime, slapstick, acrobatics, circus and intense physical performance which lends itself perfectly to this type of show – i.e a tour de force of emotionally charged extreme performance. I don’t want to spoil the ending as I do urge you to see the show for yourself, however, I will say you’ll enjoy the credit roll at the end and going to work the next morning will not be the same, you won’t be able to look at your water cooler in the same way.
Review by Faye Stockley
Neander is a physical theatre company that has toured worldwide under the artistic direction of critically acclaimed Denmark-based Icelandic performer and director Kristján Ingimarsson. Neander’s productions display limitless physical expression along with boundless curiosity. Their smash-hit show, has arrived fresh from its UK premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.
BLAM! mixes narrative theatre, circus and daring physical stunt work. A wordless performance, it offers an imaginative, action-packed and highly-entertaining experience, taking physical theatre to new heights of innovation.
Showing at Peacock Theatre
Running Time: 70 minutes
Age Restrictions: Under 5s will not be admitted. Recommended for ages 8+
Show Opened: 22nd October 2013
Booking Until: 16th November 2013
Important Info: Contains some violence. Strobe lighting used. There is no interval so latecomers will not be admitted.
Thursday 24th October 2013