We were lucky enough to be invited along to the press night for Future Bodies this week, a play which is part of the Manchester Science Festival and running at HOME Theatre from Fri 28 Sep 2018 – Sat 13 Oct 2018. The tagline is…
The future is coming. Stop being normal.
Quite a bold statement and bold is a good way of describing this. This is an ambitious production which attempts to tell several stories (the names of the characters isn’t important) via acting, dancing, live music, sign language and creative captioning at breakneck speed and although it makes for a chaotic place, when it works it really hits the spot.
You feel at ease in the presence of Kate Maravan; sometimes a stage needs somebody to steady the ship and in a show that felt fragmented at times, more than capable of the weird and wonderful, she’s a highlight and delivers some telling performances. To quote the show – “plural?” Yes plural, for each actor delivers MANY performances as the scene is ever-changing. One minute you’ll be in a business meeting, the next it’s Christmas dinner with the in-laws. The set design, a real strong point of the show, supports this structure wonderfully but be prepared – for a scene may appear from nowhere and before you have the chance to establish the relationship between the 2 people present, scientific theoretical statements are thrown about and it’s hard to decide whether you want to get your head around that or work out who is talking and why. But it hits more than it misses, with the music accompanying bang on the money.
Becky Wilkie is killing it up there – I want to hear her release an album of these songs, fuck the theatre production alongside it. There’s a familiarity to her tunes; it’s punk, it’s raw and yet she is so in control. And it certainly has to be for the slick timing of the music keeping in beat with the lines of the actors all down to a tee – and she’s a one-woman band. It’s mesmerising. Not everything you hear is original stuff, another highlight of the show is a lovely reference to the music of Billie Holiday and “All of Me” which pulls at the heart strings. It should be noted that this is down to the strength of the script and the story being told in this particular scene.
In terms of the acting Deshaye Gayle purrs in a confident performance, you can see the cast around him almost as impressed as us in the audience but proud of sharing the stage with him. You may even be forgiven for waiting in anticipation for the next time he’s on the stage and that’s not a disservice to the rest of the cast, you just get a vibe that he’s on a road to bigger and better things. Here’s hoping so.
A word of warning: it’s bat-shit crazy for the last half an hour but you’ll take away enough questions from this to keep you debating late into the night. This is a fusion of many forms of art, delivered to your brain with a slap across the face and for those very fine moments when it works – you’ll be happy. Your heart will race, you may even be inclined to get up and dance but what’s key to this is it will make you think.
I AM IN AN ETHICAL PICKLE
There are many ethical pickles to get yourself into when it comes to technology and the dependence the human race has on it but for most of those it’s just guess work, for now. Not until we found ourselves with the power to do some crazy things – whether that be FaceTiming your Uncle in Australia or being interrupted with a targeted advertisement for your next pair of underpants whilst stalking an ex-girlfriend on Facebook (they’re comfy, thanks) – will we suddenly have to decide how we feel about this power and probably much further down the line will we then be able to legislate for it. It’s a scary thought, but a sign of the times and you should let Future Bodies make you think about that for a while…
Find out more here: https://homemcr.org/production/future-bodies/