The Pantry Shelf began with a very excitable pot of wasabi peas watching TV adverts from the cupboard, including her own. From there, we learnt about the personalities of the food inhabiting our shelves, and the upset caused by the introduction of an apparently healthy new quinoa/date/bark bar called Queenie. A light satire on multinationals and branding, but mostly a story about wanting to be loved, with some lovely acting and costumes – especially the wasabi peas.
I got hit with a scotch egg twice in the Boom Jennies: We Want Action – the first time when a character was tempted by it and threw it away, bouncing off my leg back onto stage, and then the second when someone later tried to kick it off stage, it hit my shoe and rebounded straight back (sorry). They’re made of tough stuff, those eggs! Anyway, this was a lovely hour of character comedy set around the Union Campaigning on Ocean Conservation with its hard-hitting leafleting campaigns, or graffiting the wrong person’s house, and the dynamics changed by a new arrival.
Being handed a gun at the start of Holly Burn‘s show, it was quite distressing to find myself killing the act within the first couple of minutes. Holly seemed to take this in her stride, however, proceeding with an hour of surreal delight including Jason the Very Rich Tiger, Custard Flanagan and his cultivation of doubt, and some great American Beauty interludes with felt-tip pens. I can see how some people might not like this style of comedy (far be it from me to say they’re too boring), but I certainly did, a madcap hour of brilliance.
Midsummer Night’s Madness was perhaps one of the best versions of Dream I’ve seen. Drawing parallels between the fairies (invisibles) and kids that might have been given up on by the System, this was Shakespeare made brilliantly accessible through hip-hop, song, and dance. Moving the Mechanicals to being those jobs that are often ignored or despised, such as traffic wardens, was inspired, Puck was a controlled bundle of energy, and everything was perfectly realised.
Whilst waiting for friends to see Helen Arney (yay), I popped into Yianni Agisilaou’s guide to the universe who took us on a trip from the start of the universe and the speed we’re moving through it down to sub-atomic particles and the LHC’s experiments. This was a nice gentle set up for Toby Hadoke and his love affair with Doctor Who, how it’s really not that different from football (except it got you bullied at school), how their episode titles are so well devised, how he obviously does know everything about the subject and how it’s affected his relationship with his son. A very funny and heartwarming tale for anyone, Doctor Who fan or no.
Moving house again tomorrow, and wondering whether to have the whole day off – if I do, do I count it in my average or no? I guess I probably still should…