Written and Directed by Tim Etchells
Pros: A well delivered monologue with an interesting concept behind it.
Cons: The occasional slip breaks the reverie.
Our Verdict: Worth the detour if you fancy something a bit different.
|Courtesy of the BAC
It was lovely seeing the Battersea Arts Centre buzzing with activity on a Friday night. The entire building was being used not only for performances, but also for book readings and exhibitions. They even had a pop-up bar serving ‘recession themed’ cocktails, with names like Cameron’s Legacy and Eurozone Sour. This was all part of the BAC’s Neon Friday festivities, and it’s events like this that make it such a special and vibrant place. We saw Sight Is The Sense That Dying People Tend To Lose First (henceforth SITS) as part of a double bill alongside The Coming Storm, which we reviewed back in June. Both have been created by the same production company, Forced Entertainment, although both shows can be booked independently.
SITS describes itself as “a long free-associating monologue that tumbles from topic to topic”, which is pretty accurate. Essentially, it is a one man show composed of one liners – some comical, some thought-provoking, and some which are really just statements. Although there is no particular narrative, it is pretty engaging, and at 50 minutes long, the script is just about the right length to keep the audience interested.
Jim Fletcher does a good job of the text, reacting well to the subtleties of the writing but also blending in ad hoc reactions to the audience and the noise from the foyer below. That being said there were a couple of occasions where Fletcher stumbled over his words, which unfortunately broke the illusion of the naive but curious character he was trying to create. Overall though, he gave an engaging and interesting delivery of what is by all accounts a gargantuan monologue, all with no props other than a bottle of water – this if nothing else deserves praise.
Really, this show is a very minimalistic one – no set, props or costume. The cavernous setting of the BAC’s Council Chambers is the backdrop to the monologue, with a standard wash of light covering the stage. The intention I suppose is to focus on the prose, which is the unique selling point of SITS. If anything the show is proof that a show can be built entirely out of a list of statements, and still be insightful and entertaining. And this goal is certainly accomplished.
As a double bill with The Coming Storm, the evening could seem a bit long. In addition, The Coming Storm is quite a long-haul, and certainly our least favourite of the two shows (even if the ratings are technically the same…!). However, SITS is definitely worth seeing if you fancy trying something a bit different, and it provides a good excuse to sample the lively and vibrant atmosphere of the wonderful BAC.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
SITS has now finished its run at the Battersea Arts Centre, although The Coming Storm runs until 1st December 2012.
For more information on Forced Entertainment visit http://www.forcedentertainment.com/.