Directed by Emilia Teglia
Pros: A fun, theatrical Halloween celebration. A cut above your average fancy dress party.
Cons: Very brief performance, only 30mins!
Our Verdict: A pleasant night out, a good party atmosphere with a ghoulish element. Maybe more party than theatre but still enjoyable.
|Credit: International Society of Communication and Drama
Tucked away in the shadow of the Olympic Stadium, the Stour Space is a short walk from Hackney Wick. I had diligently prepped my Google maps to locate the venue. However, this proved unnecessary, as there were people to point the way from outside the station. We joined the crowd dressed in Halloween finery (you are encouraged to enter into the spooky holiday spirit for the show) and made our way to the venue, helpfully assisted by guides at each turn. I really appreciated this welcome – there’s nothing worse than being lost on your way to the theatre.
As we walked to the venue we saw writhing ‘creatures’ bound to lampposts by lengths of tights, which also obscured their faces. It gave us a hint of what to expect when we arrived. Another nice touch to kick off the evening.
Upon entering the venue, draped in bloodstained plastic sheeting, we were greeted by two estate agents who gave us questionnaires to fill in. This asked for details such as marital status, if you had been the victim or perpetrator of cheating and would you sleep with the person on your right. My plus one, standing to the left of me, was thoroughly perplexed! The questionnaires were handed back in (we didn’t discuss our answers) and we went for a drink at the bar.
The concept of the show was that we were being shown around a property. It soon transpired that this particular building was haunted by love. There were some inventive uses of the space; we were surrounded on all levels by performances from a cast of ghostly lovers. The reveal of a woman floating above our heads was particularly well done. We saw scenes which referenced or quoted operas such as The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, Don Giovani and La Boheme. This gradually became apparent during the show. The poetic language of the haunted scenes was a nice choice. However, I became confused when the modern characters also started using this device as it felt odd to hear these characters jumping from plain English to this more stylised mode of speech. The use of microphones meant that even if you couldn’t see the action clearly, you could hear everything, which was appreciated. The costumes, designed by Irena Pancer, and make up, by Letizia Mele, Natalie Hart and Serena Di Scalzo, were very beautiful and subtly eerie.
Between scenes the estate agent urged us to bid on the property. The bidding then became the end of the performance, though I felt this could have been carried further through the show. The performance itself was brief, running at around half an hour. I was surprised when curtain call snuck up on us. I would have liked more from the company and I would happily have moved around the venue more or seen how the story would develop further. The questionnaires from before the show were not used or referenced again which was a little disappointing too.
After the performance we stayed for another drink as they were very reasonably priced, at the venue and the DJ started playing. The atmosphere was relaxed as people stayed for a drink and a dance. As a performance I had hoped for more, though as a night out it was great – fidelity quizzing aside!
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
Location Location runs at The Stour Space until 2nd November 2013.
Book online at http://www.iscad.org.uk/