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Formation Festival

Assembly Roxy

What does your gut instinct tell you? Why do we shy away from situations that reveal the truth of the matter? These everyday scenarios that get plastered up with social niceties. The reason is… because we’re cowards. This is very much the heart of this of this rather punk parable where you are escorted into the evangelical exterior of  the Roxy by some balaclava bedecked miscreants.

As you line up, one of these masked individuals without uttering a word and using scrappy notes will get you to reveal your name, only for yourself to be given a name tag “Cus Cus Cus” or “1p” scrawled across it for example! Whereupon your rather brusquely show towards your seat.

At the center of all this chaos is J (Izzy Hourihane) clad in an iridescent balaclava, accentuated with a nun’s wimple and habit, plus a rather razzle dazzle showbiz jacket! And she get you to introduce yourself to your other fellow cowards that are in the audience with you.

The nature of this show which has a pulpit at centre stage does befit this theatre rather well, as you almost feel that this building that was once used for worship and self healing could have very well have been used for some sort of anonymous meeting in the past.

There is kind of a double act being performed here, something akin to a rather warped good cop, bad cop. Whereas J is full of beans, and certainly manic, she is also rather endearing, the other side of the coin is K (Eilidh Albert-Recht), who is more of a pessimist or maybe a realist. Her balaclava is more plain, and apart from that her most distinctive raiment, is a t-shirt with a pair of breasts printed upon it! She also like to carry around a rather realistic looking kitchen night, be she on the stage or interacting with the audience. Considering all this audacious mayhem, you’d think it’d be more threatening. But in a matter of fact, it was kind of more enabling, as they formed their curious and riotus bond with the audience and even revealed their faces here and there.

Apart from facing up to certain hypocrises of society there is no real storyline here.

There is very much the element of what happens next? As even the actors sometimes don’t seem totally aware of what the other might do to them. This could very well be part of Josh Overton’s wilfully mischievous but considered script and the acting talent here. Or it could very well be the fact that director Tyler Mortimer has given them a bit of rope to play around with.

Either way, it makes for a very entertaining and thoughtful evening.

Markus Helbig.

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