Pros: At approximately 55 minutes the performance is mercifully brief. The highlight on this occasion was the building and the bar.
Cons: Incomprehensible and monotonous.
Battersea Arts Centre is a vibrant hub of creativity and can be relied upon to host a wide variety of performances and events. The wonderful historic building alone is worth a visit and the centre runs activities for all ages alongside a lovely café/bar, so it’s a great local resource.
That said, I found Karaoke to be beyond comprehension. The stage has an inflatable palm tree and paddling pool on one side and the backdrop holds a large karaoke autocue which the two actors recite from or act upon its instructions. The performers – iara Solano Arana and Sammy Metcalfe – voiced their words like automatons, in a characterless, soporific manner. Background music was constant, pulsating and synthetic. The prose made little sense though it very occasionally managed to raise a gentle giggle from the audience. Clearly all this was intentional but to what end? And why was she wearing roller-skates?
It’s difficult to review something that I didn’t understand. Were there references to Big Brother? To a world becoming increasingly orchestrated by machines? Was it art for art’s sake? And was that the point? I have no idea. At the end, as the audience were preparing to leave, I listened out for snippets of conversation to find out what others thought; the young woman in front of me turned to her friend in delight and exclaimed that she had loved it. I’m afraid it was sadly all lost on me.