- Gareth K Vile
- 10 August 2017
Immersive theatre lacking drama or even fun
With a slight plot and plenty of time-filling exercises, Party Game uses the glamour of site-specific and immersive theatre to disguise its hollowness. Telling the story of a man who, while not a terrible person, has plenty of flaws, bluemouth inc incorporate musical numbers, symbolic choreography and traditional scripted scenes into an event that promises much but delivers little.
The ensemble cast operate as both performers and audience wranglers, moving the crowd through a series of episodes that either reflect on the main character or involve them in activities that attempt to create a party atmosphere. This atmosphere falls flat quickly – partially due to the move towards the main story, and partially because the tasks (sweeping, decorating) are the boring bits of a party. Without generating the necessary goodwill towards the production, the actors then struggle to inject life into the stereotypical characters. A story about horses' cocks adds very little to the dramatic thrust, and the repetition of a scene concerning a car journey signposts the surprise end too clearly, too early.
The ensemble is solid throughout, the music interludes are charming but the lack of energy in the story and vision in the direction prevent Party Game delivering much emotional punch.
Wee Red Bar, until 20 August (not 14), 8.30pm, £21.50 (£9.50–£16.50).