The Dip has the distinct honour of being the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen although, full disclaimer, I’m not really sure what it is that I saw. I think that might be the point of the piece.
It’s 70 minutes of a psychedelic acid trip with an (extremely loose) narrative around a young man, Al, who is questioning and exploring his sexuality and attraction to his friend Nick. The audience are with Al on every step of this bizarre, largely nonsensical trip, involving an almost-wedding, the baba ganoush gestapo, and a giant flatfish (the outfit for which is the absolute Mona Lisa of artistic costumery.)
It’s brash and gaudy and can be a bit much for the senses at times, but it’s a hit with the late teen and early twenties audience, who find a lot to laugh at. There’s some surprisingly clever slapstick and innuendo centred around accidental homoerotic encounters in the American Midwest which is really quite funny, although where it fits in the narrative, I’ve no idea.
There are lessons to take from this odd trip, about learning who you are and facing your fears, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the reunion of Nick and Al (when the acid wears off) to be really sweet. The cast are certainly good at this madness; they work very well together, and it’s clear to see they are enjoying themselves.
The trip is soundtracked by a rather talented troupe of musicians, and there’s really good live music throughout. It’s a lot to take in in a small space, and it can get quite noisy, but the venue take this into consideration by handing out ear plugs and warning the audience about the potential for noise.
As someone with an anxiety disorder, I’m really appreciative of this. Many people don’t use the ear plugs, but I do, and my experience is definitely better because of that consideration.
It’s certainly an odd piece of theatre, but it finds strength in this oddness and creates an kaleidoscope for the senses of energy and spectacle. If you’re looking for something different, something wild and unrestrained, something with a giant flatfish breaking down on stage – this is absolutely the show for you.
Writer: Eifion Ap Cadno
Director: Sam Edmunds
Musical Director: Sophie Hammer
Production Company: Milk and Blood
Booking Until: 2 February
Box Office: 0207 515 7799