119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R – until 16 May 2015
In politics, truth is stranger than fiction: given what happened in the General Election, it would be tough for Theatre Delicatessen and The Lab Collective to conceive something more bizarre than a complete reversal of poll predictions and the toppling of three of the four major party leaders. Ironic it should be in the dustily disused offices of The Guardian newspaper which so determinedly supported the unsuccessful side.
Like all interactive theatre, each performance you see may differ from the last but this is a thoroughly well-imagined and soundly-improvised piece in which Omar Ibrahim as your would-be candidate never falters in his characterisation however hard the audience may try to blindside him with offbeat questions or heckles. So far, so Call-Me-Dave.
Although he may not be Cameronesque the night you go because Omar comes in five different flavours (I’m guessing everything from Natalie to Nigel) with one selected at the outset by audience vote. You vote using your mobile and when the tech works, it’s fun to see the results posted (anonymously) on the screen. It’s also interesting how the process invites debate within the handful of audience members, it’s a very intimate space. On election night everyone spoke gently and with mutual respect, but it could be even more fun if heated.
Like politics itself, It flags a bit in the soft centre where Matthew Flacks‘ spin doctor isn’t as solidly researched or as fluent as the politician he’s meant to be directing, and his script needs editing for malapropisms and inaccurate usage of some popular weasel words.
At the climax of the 50-minute piece the political chimera you’ve helped to create dissolves into a more naturalistic spokesman with a homily about taking responsibility for change. Could be trite, could be quite affecting – depends on your viewpoint, I found something in it to make me think. Although too late for this time round.
The post Review: The Candidate (Theatre Delicatessen) appeared first on JohnnyFox.