Blam! (5 stars)

This article is from 2013


Glorious movie-based mayhem

In the world of Blam! the underdog is King. And this right royal ruckus has more than a few loyal servants, as a pumped-up crowd leap to their feet – after a high octane hour – to show their appreciation.

Set in a bland office space, three men, and their sleazy boss, kill time ‘blamming’ – recreating scenes from movies, using whichever tables, filing cabinets, staple guns, pencils and post-its are at their disposal.

Any notion of a niche physical theatre show are swiftly blown to smithereens with the help of a hat stand-turned-Uzi, as Neander Theatre Company blast their purpose with a nifty set, crazy strobe lighting and slick moves. With barely a word spoken, this dexterous crew have created a show on a gallus scale, and a hefty dose of creative substance.

A hot mess of movie mash-ups, you could easily quibble that some of the earlier film references aren’t immediately clear but, really, as this talented troupe back-flip, catapult, swirl and swagger their way through the more recognisable snippets from Rambo, Apocalypse Now and Die Hard, that’s easily forgiven.

Every action, even in the most frenetic of moments, is so tightly studied that its sheer bombastic energy can make you miss the incredible talents on display, whether it’s a cheeky nod to Charlie Chaplin or a more obvious ‘hi-ya’ to Jackie Chan.

And happily, beyond the simple ‘boys with toys’ premise, there’s something we can all relate to here: the desire to escape the shackles of work and a deep-seated want to be part of the gang.

It’s all rounded off with a crowd-pleasing kick-ass finale, in which a clutch of the boldest and best superheroes make an appearance, before a final showdown that expends more pomp and raw testosterone than a double bill of Sly Stallone’s Expendables movie ever could.

Whether this is a modern day comment on masculinity in the workplace or just good old fashioned fun, matters little: this is a class act all the way.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 5.55pm, £10–£15 (£8.50–£13.50).


  • 5 stars
  • Directed by: Kristjan Ingimarsson

A physical theatre performance about transforming a dull workplace into an environment filled with superheroes and aliens and featuring stunts and acrobatics.