Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Panic At The Barbican

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A couple of weeks ago I was leafing through the Barbican’s BITE programme whilst emitting a noise not unlike the one Homer Simpson makes when he has to do something Lisa has chosen. The reason for this groaning was that the programme was mostly full of stuff for the Spill Festival. Snoozecore. Towards the end, however, was Improbable’s new production, Panic. Oh, I’d quite like to see that, I said. At this juncture the missus reminded me we had bought tickets for it ages ago thus proving that I may have a shocking memory but at least I know what I like.

I saw it last Friday but I’ve been hard pressed to put any thoughts together because it is a very bitty production. I’ve had a chance to look through the reviews now and I think Michael Coveney captures my feelings best:

The show combines stand-up confessional schtick with theatrical story-telling, and the mix is only partly successful, sometimes curdling into dullness before leaping to life with some Pan gobbet or adventure

Phelim McDermott is very engaging in the central role of himself/Pan but it is desperately uneven. Quite often it seems like the performance is still being workshopped rather than actually presented. And not for the first time I do wonder what would happen if some sort of theatrical Dogme 95 forced all companies to give up meta-fictional asides and digital projectors.

Written by Martin

7 May 2009 at 17:06

Posted in performance

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