Could you eat a whole lemon? Can you move a car wheel by the power of your mind alone? Can you fold yourself into a suitcase?
These are part of a series of impossible acts that the guys of The Secret Theatre Company attempt in this show.
As we took our seats at the lovely Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn (I haven’t been there since seeing Adrian Lester in Red Velvet!), the young cast were already on the stage ‘warming up’, as if they were about to run a 100m. Members of the group then came and had a chat with various members of the audience – I had a lovely chat with Nadia. So far, so ‘different’!
Pens and paper were then handed out to about a dozen people and they were asked to simply write down the name of one of the cast. It was then down to one audience member to pick one of the names out of the hat – to randomly choose which of the cast would be the night’s protagonist. This ensures a different show every night – although I expect the underlying themes etc would be the same.
Last Friday, we had the lovely Cara Horgan as our protagonist. So, she introduced herself, and attempted the impossible acts.
What came next is difficult to explain. This is less a show, and more a 70 minute out-pouring of genuine memories and emotions from the night’s protagonist – from the awkward first kiss, to school dances, broken relationships, remembered misdemeanours and heartfelt confessions, fit into structured ‘scenes’. Aided by the rest of the cast, Cara guided us through her highs and lows including full-on wrestling, downing a bottle of beer and a full cast dance routine. A friend was around for one of the shows where there was a Q&A afterwards. Apparently the way the show goes has a lot to do with the cast member’s state of mind on the night as much as anything!
It’s poignant, thought-provoking, honest, quirky and endearing – even though occasionally I wasn’t all together sure what I was watching. There were laugh out loud moments, and moments that were harder to watch. I have to admit, there were moments that it felt slightly similar to Losers – but in a good way!!
It was so entertaining that I want to take my daughter to see it and am more than happy to watch the whole thing again – especially as there would probably be a different protagonist considering there are 10 cast members.
A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts is showing at the Tricycle Theatre until 31st January. You can buy tickets here.