The Power of Suggestion
| 03 Oct 2011
Tonight has been a real learning curve. I learned that “we are all miracle makers”. I learned that Sonic The Hedgehog can stand alongside Winston Churchill as an emblem of power. But above all, I learned that it is still possible for a man wearing a flattened box over his head to look despondent.
Maximum Power, the bastard son of Vera Duckworth and Derren Brown as directed by Ken Loach presents a charlatan’s seminar on how to lose your fear and become all-conquering… with dry ice, podium and 80s power anthems.
Thomas Hobbins is an engaging character actor - he just has funny bones. Even his phrasing is amusing. Presenting his pseudo-psychological cant in three stages, victims are plucked from the audience and humiliated, using DIY props [eg.said cardboard box symbolising obstacles in the way, and a toy light sabre (cool!)] to create a three-minute superhero. My only quibble’s the length of the piece – fifteen minutes trimmed off would have been punchier.
I Don’t Remember When it Happened
Oranges, apples, strawberries and pineapples are not the only fruit, you know. On paper, this show shouldn’t work – another alcoholic chef? Happily, Katy Baird crushes clichés under her kitten heels: the woman’s a maniac.
Exploring the tangy relationship between food and sex in a way that would surely make Almodovar blush, Baird’s nympho lesbian chef is a steely-eyed presence, peppering her recipes with random bursts of psychotic violence. A plate of peanuts is the first to get it (with a rolling pin) as she calmly explains that peanuts are often used in the production of dynamite…CRASH!
After making a whisky sour with apples, which she then of course proceeds to down in one with a triumphant thump, we are treated to confessions of her carnal adventures in the catering trade, a highlight of which is, “Me and my boss did it everywhere, in the sea… his car… in a walk-in fridge at the hotel kitchen, with a face full of Calamari…”
This intimate fruity slice of theatre unpeels its layers gradually, making for an hilarious, if uneasy, experience. Saucy, voluptuous and part of your five a day.
run ended http://www.thearches.co.uk