Home (2 stars)

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This article is from 2009.

Fails to play to the company’s strengths

Berkshire’s Theatre Oikos have their hearts in the right place, but that can’t conceal the fact that on the whole they aren’t particularly good actors or storytellers.

The dance elements are the highlight of immigration fable Home. Imagery subtly communicates meaning from the outset, as performers emerge from suitcases, wonder at the world outside, and take their first wobbly steps. Entering a new country, with its unfamiliar language and customs, leaves the new arrivals as helpless as newborns.

But the unison sequences are never successfully synchronised, and from then on physical and movement work is relegated to the background, providing settings and props for much less impressive naturalistic interactions. Everyone Polish immigrant Christophe meets on his journey through history (asking refugees from the better-known 20th century wars ‘Why do you want to go to England?’) delivers their lines mechanically and without feeling. Once he reaches England himself, the trend continues with added stereotypes, including his naturalised Indian neighbour and a bunch of predictably intolerant cockernee Chelsea fans. The dance needs to improve, so it can replace the acting altogether.

The Zoo, 662 6892, until 15 Aug, 12.25pm, £7.

This article is from 2009.

Home

  • 2 stars

What constitutes home? Using dance, comedy and physical theatre this vibrant young theatre company explore the attitude of British people towards immigrants. 'Home' examines the importance of our origins and acknowledges the outsider in all of us.

Comments

1. Flyer21 Aug 2009, 1:41am4 stars Home Report

Having read Matt Boothman's review I find myself wondering if we were viewing the same performance. I found it imaginative ,well thought out and presented. There may initially have been a slight lack of synchronicity but this was soon ironed out as were cast 'nerves' resulting in valiant performances. This play carried a message without losing audience appreciation. an observation borne out by the last three performances playing to 'packed houses.

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