Adrian Johnson, kindandgenerous productions, 24th July 2015
The Hideout begins as soon as you walk into the auditorium. Curious characters make conversation with the audience as they arrive. Then once everyone’s in we are cordially invited by Hades (energetically and exuberantly played by Ellie Beaman-Brinklow) to pick an idea for a show, which by chance they have all the right props to show and re-tell providing it is the tale of Theseus and the Minotaur. And, boy, can this sassy and creative ensemble company show and tell. We get licks of jazz from the poised and pulsating Jesse Dupre in toy soldier red striped trews (playing an indulgent personification of Dionysius) and a positively mercurial, cutesy and tricksy Aphrodite (played with glee by Jenny Novitzky). Together these three capricious gods play tricks on poor, heroic, Theseus (played with comic perfection by Sophie Taylor) complete with bulging bright boxing gloves, inhaler and an absurdly sketched six pack on his pink belly.
In a tightly wound show of 60 glorious minutes of captivating physical theatre, we get deft touches of shadow puppetry, sight gags, tap dancing bulls, songs, comedy running and truly unexpected tragedy – offered in the shape of Ariadne (beautifully played Elena Constanzi) who sincerely and deftly conveys the heart break of her lost love, Theseus, through the connivance of those truculent, game playing Greek God, Hades, Dionysius and Aphrodite.
So, should you find yourself in lucky possession of a ticket for this show, like me during the Birmingham Fest of new theatre this summer or while they’re up in Edinburgh (5-30th August, 13.20 at Venue C ) go see and enjoy! You’re guaranteed to see five very wonderful (undeniably cute and beautiful) young custodians of the magic of Doctor theatre, being silly, deploying great theatrical craft, storytelling and effortlessly (as if!) demonstrating everything you simply ache to tell and share with your friends who don’t know what sublime, visually and physically imaginative theatre is, but you do, and you’ll want to tell others, like me. Think a bit of Knee High, Complicite, maybe a little bit of Forkbeard Fantasy and all the great theatre shows that just never translate to the small screen, because it’s theatre and simply all you need – and magically much, much, more.
Naturally, you’ll imagine I must be married to one of the cast (no) or maybe related (no) but I am powerfully impressed by this show and for my sins I do teach drama and English in Birmingham and I have seen too many shows that I’d never want to enthuse about as much as this show, The Hideout. It’s a gem. Believe me. Go see for yourself.