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Credit: Crick Crack Club
Credit: Crick Crack Club

The Iron Man, Soho Theatre – Review

Pros: An enthralling story, told by an expert storyteller, with the use of an enchantingly painted ‘Kaavad’. An absolute treat.

Cons: This event has come and gone, and their short runs mean it’s hard to catch Crick Crack Club shows – but you should try!

Pros: An enthralling story, told by an expert storyteller, with the use of an enchantingly painted ‘Kaavad'. An absolute treat. Cons: This event has come and gone, and their short runs mean it’s hard to catch Crick Crack Club shows - but you should try! If you’re new to this blog you might not already be aware of the love affair that exist between Everything Theatre and the Crick Crack Club, so let me give you a quick précis! Our affair has been going on for years, and although we often see other people, eventually we return to each…

Summary

Rating

Excellent

Yet another beautiful, intricate story, told by one of the leading lights of British storytelling. A wonderfully intimate evening, and one I’d recommend to everyone.

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If you’re new to this blog you might not already be aware of the love affair that exist between Everything Theatre and the Crick Crack Club, so let me give you a quick précis! Our affair has been going on for years, and although we often see other people, eventually we return to each other and the sparks always fly. And all of that is definitely entirely because of the Crick Crack Club’s wonderful energy and flair for turning traditional stories into gripping displays in just exactly how storytelling should be handled.

The Iron Man is performed by Ben Haggerty. Ben founded the Crick Crack Club back in 1985. He has become one of the nation’s most revered and trusted figures in British storytelling and the performances he’s involved with are always an absolute treat to fans of the form. On this occasion, Ben introduces us to the Indian tradition of ‘Kaavad’, intricately painted wooden boxes which, as they are slowly unfurled, display to the onlookers paintings which feed into the story being woven around them. We already knew Haggerty was a master storyteller, but it turns out he can turn his hand to painting as well! His self-constructed box and the series of illustrations which it displays, whilst not showing the artistic flair of the Van Gogh, have a home drawn pleasure which make them entirely enchanting. It also adds a huge deal to the performance as a whole.

The story Ben shares with us is of a king and his three sons, and takes in lots of the traditional tropes; evil kings, banishments, sibling rivalry and monsters, this story has it all. Despite the familiarity of the ideas, it was delivered in such a beautiful fashion that the audience, many of whom are clearly regular CCC attendees, clung to every word and phrase. This show is incredibly reminiscent of sitting with a slight wacky uncle, as he reads to you from the most enormous illustrated picture book in existence. It has the warmth and passionate delivery of someone who truly cares that the story they are sharing can not only entertain the onlooker, but can communicate an understanding of something which is so deeply embedded in our shared human experience, namely that joy that we gain from the sharing of stories. His passion and enthusiasm are, as always, entirely contagious and you can’t leave the theatre without a smile upon your face.

If you are after a night of satisfying storytelling and rewarding adventure through the narratives which we have chosen to share with each other over the centuries, please take the time to find out when the next Crick Crack Club night is. The creature at the centre of the story of tonight’s wonderful tale is going to be explored by the Club over the next year, and it looks like that will be a rewarding source of material if tonight is anything to judge by. ET and the Crick Crack Club’s love affair doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Created and Performed By: Ben Haggerty
Producer: the Crick Crack Club
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.

About Rachel Proctor

Rachel Proctor
Having intermittently been reviewing since the formation of ET, Rachel is currently taking a year off from working as a doctor to go back to University and study Medical Humanities, in an effort to basically do that English degree she didn’t have a chance to do at medical school. It does mean there is plenty of time to get back into seeing loads of theatre in London, which she can basically pass off as further studying. She’ll watch pretty much anything, with a penchant for an odd venue and anything with pretty lighting design.