6 June 2012
Think about what could be your Utopian dream?
Mine would definitely be a little different; how could we live together in this newly thought world, to survive and flourish.
With an ongoing partnership between Live Theatre and Soho Theatre, and with a superb team writing, including playwrights, MP's and stand up comics that question could well be answered!
New to treading the boards is actress Sophia Myles, and stand up, panel show favourite Rufus Hound.
Along with David Whitaker, Pamela Miles, Tobi Bakare and Laura Elphinstone the six of them take us on mindful, thoughtful and eye opening journey to a life of utter, utter paradise. But paradise isn't for everyone. Paradise doesn't last long and paradise is that wonderful dream that is singed at the frayed edges.
To portray this, the six of them dance, sing and act their way through clips and glimpses of perfect scenarios.
The Geordie Dictator in Propaganda(written by Alistair McDowall) was menacing as he described his utopia of young boys soldiers following his command, he suddenly changes suit, tho, when an anti Dictatorial Facebook page is revealed.
Thousands hate his regime, so he flips his utopian coin and plums for a better life for his captors, and those around his grizzly leadership.
Many scenarios were chopped up, intermingled and fed to us, in little bite sized chunks, like flashbacks.
Who was Ray(written by Dylan Moran) was one such tale. The uninvited guest at a party, Ray was the main gossip and on the tongues of the stragglers, as to how they all knew of him!
This to me felt like the Utopia of being loved and of being welcomed, but somewhere down the line, this shatters into painfully sharp pieces. Another Utopian disaster trek, diminished.
Throughout the plays the actors encourage, us, the viewer to think deeply into our own vision of the future. What will become of us, if Utopia isn't our cup of tea, maybe this play will pave the way for more lateral thinking and approach to how we view ourselves, and others.
With some stunning acting on show from all on board, this first nighter, was heady with a lot of thought provoking material, just enough to shake a Dystopian finger at. My top marks on the night, going to the wonderful Laura Elphinstone, especially as the young care nurse, tending to a blind retired MP. Elphinstone was so believable in her role, that Utopia must be with her at the minute.
The newcomers faired well amongst the strong role of the other cast. Hound and Myles were both exciting to watch, especially latter on, once they had warmed up and felt the pull of the stage.
With a fabulous concept and direction coming from Steve Marmion (and Max Roberts), this is going to get some tongues wagging. I was talking to Steve before curtain up, and he mentioned the timing of the play. I would agree with him that some of the scenes, could be a little shorter in length. I did say to him though, that I would probably want to watch it all night long, and I certainly would!
I asked my Twitter and Facebook community what their ideal Utopian outcome would be like. From the perfect cup of tea, worlds to explore, free flowing gin, tidy houses to the wonderfully sung 'Utopia' by Goldfrapp, ideals are so different. Maybe only Utopia will live in the mind and never be a reality.
Utopia plays until 16 June