The Believers are but Brothers – REVIEW

The Believers are but Brothers

Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush, London

★★★★★

The Believers are but Brothers

Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush, London

Seen on January 31st, 2018

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★★

This unique one-man show provides a hard hitting take on the social world in which we currently live in. Touching on topics such as terrorism, politics and resentment this performance is thought provoking from the onset. Even before entering the theatre, from just reading the programme, the cogs in my brain were set into motion. The main focus of this show is how three resented men from different walks of life with access to the internet rapidly have their lives changed to accommodate a radical point of view.

(DISCLAIMER – a lot will be revealed in this review so if you are wanting to see the show without any prior knowledge I recommend you stop reading. However if you don’t mind and are still intrigued, please continue reading!) 

Let’s start off by saying this is unlike anything I have ever seen and unlike anything currently out there, 100% with the times and so relevant. It was a slight shock walking into the theatre and hearing the words ‘would you like to join our WhatsApp group to use during the performance?’. This is a unique part of this performance which really added to the topic. It emphasised the fact that everyone is in immediate connection and despite being in a room of say 50-odd people, we were all still completely anonymous. The only identification we had was the first name that would appear on the WhatsApp message if we decided to send one. That was really hard hitting for me, personally. The anonymity of everyone in the room was really felt when we were all asked to message the strangest thing we had seen on the internet. That brought up some strange things! I have to admit that at some points having the WhatsApp messages coming through was slightly distracting and I struggled focusing on what Javaad Alipoor was saying. With the messages coming through it was so difficult to determine what was real and what was scripted which demonstrated the world of fantasy and reality online.

The whole performance was so engaging. It felt like I was watching a documentary. I definitely came out feeling different in a strange way and with a changed view on the social media world. It was an education I believe everybody needs in relation to some of the topics it touched on regarding the type of information you put out online and the repercussion that may have. I do love a good piece that makes you think.

The show itself was very basic. Very raw. It was scripted but the way Javaad delivered the script made it feel like he was having a genuine conversation with you about something he is truly passionate about. There were no elaborate sets (although the set was very pleasing to look at), no extravagant lighting used. Just Javaad on a stage with a desk, a few computers, a microphone and a mesh screen for the projected images. That was another great aspect, having the media displayed in different ways. It wasn’t just an hour of Javaad talking at you.

This is one I would highly recommend and deeply believe that everyone would take something different from the show whether or not it is something that you have an interested in. Ticket prices range from £10-£17.50 and is running until February 10th. More information can be found at https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/the-believers-are-but-brothers/

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – REVIEW

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Apollo Theatre, London

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Apollo Theatre, London

 

Seen on August 25th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

An elaborate dance around lies and sexual tension, a warm summer night of celebration in Mississippi sees Brick and Maggie’s marriage balancing on a knife edge. With the uncertainty of the family estate on everyone’s mind the battle of the lies continues but which one will come out top?

An honest review – for the duration I was effectively a cat on a hot tin roof metaphorically in my chair, fidgety and bored, unable to sit still. It is never a good sign when multiple people become restless from the beginning of the second act.

I do not want this review to slate the show because a lot of hard work has been put into it however I shall be expressing my honest opinions. There were some good elements of the show but the negatives certainly removed all enjoyment from it.

It did not start well with act 1. The whole act consisted of Sienna Millers (Maggie) and Jack O’Connell (Brick) setting the feel of the show. Throughout you could see drops in their momentum as if they were struggling with emotional stamina. The ‘regular’ dialogue was engaging however when an argument erupts between the two characters the acting became less believable. I did not believe it one bit. In fact I was cringing slightly. It is so difficult to watch something and get really into it when the acting is not believable. Underplayed falls, bad proximity to each other with lunges and pathetic screams. (SPOILER – I’m sorry but if someone were to lunge towards me aiming to hit me with their crutch I would bloody shriek and dive out of the way!) I also found that missed a lot of the build up with Brick during the arguments because I was focused on Miller’s performance. She seemed far more connected with her character however that have may been the way it was meant to be portrayed, Brick remaining very distant from life waiting for the ‘click’ every day in order to cope.

The start of act 2 was by far the most engaging part of the show. The whole company coming together really drew me in. Although during act one we, as the audience, were given the impression of the family being out of control. I was not given that impression when the five child actors were on stage. Everything seemed very calm!

When I walked into the auditorium I was very intrigued with the set choices. It was not until the show started I was able to appreciate the set. The set was simple but effective. The only issue I found was it did not really help set the scene/time setting. The layout and colour scheme was giving me an art deco vibe however the story is set on a cotton plantation but the cast also had modern electronic devices. I was confused as to whether they were trying to update a classic or just had complete disregard to the time period.

Another thing that was very evident in the second act was the accents. They were awful! I was spending far too much time concentrating on what was actually being said. Halfway through the second act I gave up because just as I started understanding what was happening, I was lost again.

I am going to wrap this up here as I think these are the main points that let the show down. I personally would not recommend this show but if you are looking for a quiet night at the theatre where nothing much happens and you can nod off slightly, this may be for you.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof runs until October 7th at the Apollo Theatre.