Skip to main content

People Show – The Last Straw

Things would have been a whole lot different without The People Show. As the UK’s oldest live art company, the original absurdist troupe are arguably the epitome of the original idea of the Fringe. Having come together to perform in the basement of London underground hangout Better Books in 1966 with People Show 1, over the next half century, and with alumni including film-maker Mike Figgis and poet and counter-cultural guru, the late Jeff Nuttall, the company have paved the way for a million others created in a similar image. Fusing multi-media Happenings and experimental theatre, the company’s shape-shifting approach has seen them move with the times while retaining an old-school arts lab approach.

While veteran members Mark Long, George Khan and Chahine Yavroyan remain at the company’s artistic core, this latest show – People Show 130 if you’re counting – is a two-hander performed by Gareth Brierley and Fiona Creese that takes on the fake news age. With a man and a woman confined to an undefined space, everyday disaster stares them in the face as they search for the facts beyond the mystifying cloak of jargon.

In an era of information overload where nothing can be trusted, Brierley, Creese and a team of People Show regulars ask how to survive love and loss in a world where communication is becoming increasingly impossible. Co-creators of the show with Brierley and Creese comes from People Show core artists, designers Jessica Worrall and Emma Tompkins, and sound and lighting designers Rob Kennedy and Nigel Edwards. 

Having already been seen at Camden People’s Theatre and on the Brighton Fringe, The Last Straw could just as easily move between end-of-the-pier- and end-of-the-world entertainment, and will almost certainly show off the best of both worlds.

People Show – The Last Straw, Summerhall until August 26, 3-3.55pm

The Herald, August 11th 2018



Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…