SHELF LIFE To 10 November.


devised by HalfCut.

Marylebone Gardens 35 Marylebone High Street W1U 4QA To 10 November 2012.
Mon-Sat 7pm & 8.30pm.
Runs 1hr 30min No interval.

TICKETS 0207 269 9929.
Review: William Russell 22 October.

Something peculiar – but utterly delightful.
The action of this journey from the womb – quite literally – to the end of life, takes place in what used to be the home of BBC London. It starts in the second basement – one enters through a large pink vagina – and ends on the seventh floor in what one assumes is Heaven.

One is born, welcomed into this life by friendly a nurse – “How was it for you?” – and then, having been given a report card to be filled in along the way, conducted through one’s life to school, university, job seeking, job getting, marriage and so on until one comes to the inevitable ending.

For company one has a balloon, which one has had to blow up and paint a face on, as well as the friendly members of the eight strong cast who play all the parts. It is funny – the primary school lesson about a pirate called Roger and his seamen is quite filthy, although it takes a little while to sink in – and the tasks one gets to do while one’s report card is being filled in are unexpected. To end up rubbing a stranger’s back, while clucking like a chicken at the behest of an alleged psychiatrist, is not what one would normally do on a wet autumn evening.

The other highlight is arguably the wedding at which the best man makes the sort of speech both bride and groom fear, although the sales-pitch of the estate agent offering the flat of one’s dreams is pretty good too.

Does it mean anything? Well HalfCut say not, but oddly it does. One shares an experience, holds the hands of a stranger, reveals, for that running report-card, things one might otherwise keep to oneself, all the while marvelling at the versatility of the people one encounters on the journey. One leaves exhilarated.

Cast: Verity Clayton, Mairi Hayes, Neil Connolly, Anna Leong Brophy, Thom Mitchell, Chris Polick, Ayesha Tansey, Eddie Usher.

Lighting: Fergus Waldron.
Composer: James Headley.
Designer/Costume: Katharine Heath.

2012-10-23 11:21:48

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