Becoming Shade, 4****, London

Becoming Shades

The Vaults (quick walk from Waterloo Stations to 18th March
Running Time with interval information (eg Runs 2h 20m, one interval)

Veronica Stein, February 1st, 2018.

Step into another reality

Stepping into the Vaults Festival always feels like one’s stumbled somewhere new, and Becoming Shades takes us a step further into another time, another place, another realm. Chivaree Circus and Upstage Creative retell- vis-à-vis the potential of warehouse spaces, design cohesion, and mind blowing circus- the myth of Persephone.

The audience is led through the immersive piece by Charon (who is in this production a friendly but stifled insect) and the furies, who maintain a sense of play throughout, no matter how ridiculous the stunt or silly the interaction with the audience.

The entire cast is wonderfully engaged in this black, fiery, electric underworld (kudos to the design team), but Rebecca Rennison, Anna McDonnell, and Alfa Marks as Persephone, Lost Soul, and Hades respectively, deliver the most intensely mesmerising spectacles of the evening through pole, silks, and other aerial feats of elegance and strength.  Musicians and composers Sam West and Becks Johnstone play a heady score of ethereal and electronic melodies that as stand alone tracks are worthy of merit, but in conjunction with the rest of the production does wonders for the transportative aspects.

The whole production is very thoughtfully comprised, for all the elements contribute to this underground underworld in which we may have never been before but immediately accept what’s given to us. Though a large part of viewing experience is undertaken standing up, it is no matter because the proceedings are not only highly impressive, but also integrated into the story- and if you don’t know the story that’s absolutely fine, as the acts of daring are engaging as is and pockets of humour are everywhere .

Becoming Shades is playing through the entirety of the Vault Festival, and with good reason- Londoners should be coming out in droves to see this truly special experience. Fine immersive theatre and excellent circus, Becoming Shades is not to be missed.


Persephone: Rebecca Rennison
Hades: Alfa Marks
Lost Soul: Anna McDonnell
Charon: Molly Beth Morosa
Fury: Rosie Bartley
Fury: Isobel Midnight
Fury: Jessica Pearce
Musicians: Sam West and Becks Johnstone

Director: Laurane Marchive
Associate Director: Bronagh Lagan
Designer: Carlota Caball
Lighting Designer: Jessica Hung Han Yun
Costume Designer: Black Lune
Sound Design/ Composition: Sam West
Phil Massingham: Production Electrician

2018-02-02 09:58:34

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