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Globaleyes 2013, Chickenshed Theatre

Presented by the Chickenshed Theatre

Directed by Christine Niering
Pros: A very committed group of performers put on a great spectacle of dance and movement. There were many disturbing facts about the effects of globalisation.
Cons: At times it was hard to see how the choreography represented these facts.
Our Verdict: Jump on the next tube and go see this show.
Courtesy of the Chickenshed Theatre

It was a bit of a trek to Globaleyes 2013, which is located at the very summit of the Piccadilly Line. However Louie from everything theatre was happy to plant their flag there. It now flies proudly next to Cockfosters Tube sign, but the show is more worth the visit.

As the title would suggest Globaleyes 2013 is an ambitious project. It comments upon the damaging effects of globalisation, through dance, song, and multi-media. The narrative, such as it is, is told through a mixture of captions, photos, and sound recordings. Just to give a sample of some of the startling captions: in sweatshops in Bangladesh the pay is 8p per hour; the 3 richest people in the world have more wealth than the poorest 600 million; six million children live in forced labour or in other forms of slavery. As for the images, amongst the most poignant are the opening ones, portraying the Earth’s diversity. A diversity which is under threat. Moreover, hearing George W Bush rear up from his political death sent a chill down my spine. Dubya and his neo-conservative rhetoric (if rhetoric isn’t too dignified a term for The Imbecile’s ramblings); a shade from the past whose darkness projects on in the present.
Let us return to the light, which is pretty blinding. Chickenshed Theatre is an inclusive theatre company. Its cast is made up of students, the artistic team, and adult workshop members. The studying is done either on their Foundation, BTEC, or BA courses; there is no qualification barrier to being accepted, except for the very enlightened one of having to have a passion for the performative arts. Every last actor has it, too. In spades, or in shovels, depending on which of these two implements might be the bigger.
Long past is the day since I saw a company perform with such a sense of joy, enthusiasm, and boundless energy. It was as if they had been born for nights such as these. Upon a stage, under the spotlights, before a full house. Being representative of the community, the company has actors in wheelchairs; actors with Downs Syndrome; an actor who had suffered Meningitis. All were peerless in their choreography. There was a delicacy in their physicality, or tremendous agility when the moment required it.
Concerning the pumping soundtrack Louie got so carried away that – after the interval – I had to restrain him from storming the stage. Quieter pieces were composed by musicians such as Wan Pin Chu, from as far afield as Hong Kong.
My only criticism is that the narrative seemed disconnected from the dance scenes. Fantastic as these were, I was often bewildered by what they were supposed to represent. At one point two pairs of actors were entwined like some kind of primordial beast. There was something both horrifying and beautiful about their explorations of the stage. What did it all mean though? I scratched my temple long and hard, but to no avail. Later on I had to resort to stroking my beard, as silhouettes stood in a protracted silence. Was this a celebration of all our physicalities, manifested in their many forms? Pass.
Final bouquets, as opposed to hard brickbats, go to the directors Christine Niering, Jonathan Morton, and Louise Perry. The thought of directing a cast of 193 has me reaching for my tranquillisers. What’s more they are simultaneously a single entity and a group of individuals. In the Dalai Lama’s words, their theme is the ‘oneness of humanity’.
Kind of incidentally, Louie was so enthused by the show that afterwards he shot off on a quest to find the actual Chicken Shed. If I’d been able to react quickly enough I would have told him that it no longer exists.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Globaleyes 2013 runs at the Chickenshed Theatre until 17th March 2013.
Box Office: +44 (0)20 8292 9222 or book online at

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