The Hideout review – Edfringe review


Stephanie Young, Edfringe Review, 15th August 2015

http://edfringereview.com/r/VYFggmy4R6ivxhImXDx6yg

Haste Theatre’s The Hideout is a surprisingly fabulous collision of classic Greek mythology and 1920s debauchery. Set in what appears to be somewhere between a speakeasy and a boudoir, the Gods of Olympus (Dionysus, Aphrodite, and Hades) re-tell the story of Theseus and the Minotaur in a comic, innovative fashion.

As well as mingling two contrasting historical eras and cultures, the multi-talented ladies of Haste Theatre also combine a mélange of performances styles in one short hour: clowning, dance, live music, monologue, and puppetry. The show’s variety is sure to lure an eclectic audience over the course of the run.

We are coaxed into the intimate performance space by the warm-toned, low lighting and the smooth, intoxicating jazz music underscoring our entrance. Be prepared as The Hideout is immersive and interactive from the onset: the Gods seemingly permit an audience member to choose the title of the ensuing story from a hat, without really relinquishing their authority. The power of deities in classical literature, and the location of authority in storytelling more broadly, are themes which are quietly reflected on throughout the piece.

All five actors give high-calibre performances; the characters are exuberant and the execution is slick. This is largely due to the Herculean strength of the cast as an ensemble.

Gorgeous costumes and clever use of the simple set make for a visually compelling production: a dressing screen serves as both a canvas for quaint shadow puppetry, and later as the moving walls of a labyrinth.

The Hideout’s flaws are few; however, some of the sequences are slightly too long, and when the Gods’ physical storytelling subsides and the story’s central characters to take over, the momentum occasionally falters. Theseus’ (Sophie Taylor) entrance is initially jarring: Taylor’s spoof of Mike Tyson seems a little bizarre even amongst the unusual amalgamation of genres. That said, it was not long before I was won over by Taylor’s impressive clowning and comic charm.

This production illustrates how unlikely allies can unite to make marvellous storytelling. If it is subject to fate (or rather the meddling Gods), The Hideout will certainly meet with success both at the Fringe and in future.