THEATRE REVIEW: Out of This World ★★★

Out of This World
Warwick Arts Centre
Tuesday 25th May 2016

I think it’s fair to say that when we as an audience member go to watch a production, there are two types of us; those who already may know the playwright, the story, or have read reviews and therefore considered coming, and then we have those who going into a show coming devoid of what they are about to watch, so spend quite a lot of time at the beginning becoming familiar with the characters and storyline present on stage. In this instance, I consider myself more lenient of the latter side, especially quite recently, but strangely enough, for Out of This World, Mark Murphy’s newly devised show rehearsed in a school gymnasium for the last six weeks, weather you consider yourself the former or latter, you will still find yourself scratching your head for a good twenty minutes, but ultimately never let down.

The clanging of the carabineers clipping to the harnesses, and the offstage ariel team moving at rapid horizontal pace up and down the rostra, are just some of the initial thoughts that started to nag at me whilst I was trying already to figure out the story behind the central character of Ellen and all these medics surrounding the stage picking up upside down chairs placed on the stage, which has been there since we entered the auditorium that evening, but after that initial 20 minutes of bemusement, everything starts to become a shade clearer as Sarah Swire, who portrays Ellen, steps out from the commotion on stage to address to the audience, or rather point things around us or connected to us, ‘Projector’, ‘Harness’, ‘The argument you had on the way here’, ‘Theatre’, are just some of the phrases she used to talk about how we as the audience are meant to know that she is in a harness, and there are projections all around us, and that slowly makes me start to appreciate this production for exactly what it is, because even though we can see all of this health and safety go on with carabineers on stage and microphones being switched on to hear the actors on stage, as well as the projections being beautifully captured on the stage, all of this is actually going on inside her head, and we then get to the chance to realise that and accept this is such a comfortable fashion.

This story about love and not being able to accept those whom we may lose in our lifetime due to unforeseen circumstances is so captivating and riveting that for not moment was I able to sit back and put my mind at rest for one moment. The reputation of a certain scene for instance, which involves Ellen, a glitter ball, and a guitar, soon becomes so clear at the end of the performance the meaning behind it, with the idea of not being able to complete or perform something because the time or circumstances don't feel right. The auditorium is virtually silent as we are all enthralled into the action and skill presented on stage through the aerial work, and though this is such a complicated show at the end of the performance initially for ourselves to get our head around, this is definitely a production not to be missed with such a bold premise, making Out of This World a production which I have not seen quite like in a long time!


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