Pros: Clever, original, vibrant, entertaining and heartwarming – it will touch chords with everyone.
Cons: Some of the content was quite fast and a bit difficult to catch but on the whole it was completely absorbing.
The Battersea Arts Centre hosted the Play Festival from 20th to 22nd March. The theme was inviting you to become a kid again and there were various performers/performances scheduled, supported by additional activities such as a retro gaming room, a doodle room and board games.
Yve Blake performed her one hour, one-woman show to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Based on an internet experiment asking people about who they used to be, this is a unique performance piece. Quoting from the myriad of responses she received, Yve changes voices and costumes to bring the collection to life, including original songs inspired by her contributors.
Her energy, passion and sensitivity combine to form a wonderfully well-rounded show. Spanning from early childhood, teenage angst, dating, parenthood and old age she manages to bring both laughter and tears. I loved the little girl who wanted to be either a princess or a greengrocer, the person who posed carefully for photos as a kid in order to look cool in case she later became famous, and so on. Some of the angst may sound familiar and remind you how far you’ve come since having those feelings. The section about caring for ageing parents was especially poignant. It makes you stop and look back at where you’ve come from and to look ahead and wonder what may be to come. In a world where we are constantly rushing, it provides a pause and helps to put things into perspective.
This isn’t a play as such; it is a piece of fresh, original performance art. If you prefer theatre in a more traditional vein please don’t dismiss this; it really contains something for everyone. Similarly although this BAC festival attracted a youthful audience this show is definitely for all ages.
There are no further shows available at present but there are plans in the pipeline. If you would like to check for upcoming dates and venues, find out more, or would like to take part in the project, then please visit http://www.yveblake.com/#!works/cd2w.
Writer/performer: Yve Blake
Musical Director: Alex Groves
Producers: Robert Bradish and Emily Thommes
Booking Until: 22nd March 2014
Box Office: 020 7223 2223
Booking Link: https://www.bac.org.uk/content/32404/see_whats_on/current_shows/cook_up/then