Pros: A fast-paced show that showcases some talented performers.
Cons: Slightly awkward audience participation.
With a dazzling display of brightly coloured lasers and projection art, SIRO-A take to the stage for a fast-paced, 60-minute showcase of their talents and skills. Using what I can only describe as a combination of a blank stage, a white backdrop, Photoshop and video editing the four performers and two technicians use technology to produce an enriching and unique theatrical experience.
The mixing of Japanese and Western culture creates an attractive and lively show. The short chapters, each with its own design, keep the show fresh. While each scene is distinctly different from the others, they all fit under the SIRO-A umbrella of sophisticated projection art combined with intense and honed performances, whether the audience is watching a man playing with a self-aware bouncy ball, sees the performers interacting with brightly-coloured video games like Mario or is treated to an elegant dance between three live actors and their projected selves.
There is something quite ‘Western’ about this show, a familiarity that’s cleverly used to lull the audience into a false sense of secure predictability. We are quickly jolted out of that by a number of spooky, magical scenes that owe more to the Japanese entertainment culture: less familiar but massively enjoyable. However, this is balanced perfectly with a lot of family friendly stuff, like turning a man dressed in white into Big Ben or Thomas the Tank Engine and making a nod to the upcoming festive holiday. And with such short and differing scenes you’re bound to be impressed by at least a few!
Anyone who knows me understands that I’m not adverse to audience participation. My philosophy is that the embarrassment I feel will lead to everyone having a better night. So it was with a pink blush that, upon entering the theatre, I agreed to have my photo taken knowing it would be used at some point during the show. However, two-thirds of the way through there was yet more audience participation required, which not only slowed the show down significantly but was just plain awkward. The result, a mash up of individual audience members singing along to Happy by Pharrell Williams was noteworthy however, mainly for the rapid collation of the short clips by the video department!
This show is perfect for a pre-Christmas get-together of friends or family. At a svelte sixty minutes small children will be able to sit through it and be mesmerised by the bright lights and fast actions while adults can equally revel in the technique, memory and skill of the performers. Just be warned: sit in the middle of the back rows if you’re not into your audience participation!