Chickenshed Young Company presents Feel the Love. This was not the usual type of theatre where everyone sat in rows, one behind the other. It was an immersive production, with groups of seats strategically arranged around the auditorium. When I walked in and took my seat, it did feel as though I was in a jazz bar with music playing all around me. A very nice setting.
So the play began and the action was everywhere. When I say everywhere I really do mean everywhere, the performance space was next to you, in front of you, behind you, above you on the balconies and of course on the stage in the middle. Can you imagine watching 200 young energised people performing a tapestry of stories, all around you… such confusion and great fun!
What made this production special was rather than have a band hidden away playing, there were young performers playing music, with varying abilities. They would perform in different spaces within the theatre. Every so often you could see the audience searching the auditorium to locate the person singing, sometimes we located the singer sometimes we didn’t.
So this production was an interesting one. It had great music, Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’ comes to mind and I remember some great rapping that got us bopping on our chairs while the young performers tapped on the floor. There were some very interesting dance moves too.
So that was the fun side but this production had a very important purpose and message. We saw lots of anguish, confusion and struggles in conforming to expectations. Some may find Feel the Love a bit overwhelming as it does leave one questioning themselves about love. There were lots of perspectives of love provided along with some of the challenges that they came with.
As this play was really not my cup of tea, my appreciation for it may be a bit lessened compared to others. A great play that has lots of food for thought and lots of material for analysis and debate. Be warned that this production is not a light-hearted one.
Review by Shaidi Ramsurrun
Chickenshed Young Company welcome you to a re-imagining of the world of love, loss, hope and heartbreak. Across two weeks in July our 250-strong Youth Theatre will take you on a journey that endeavours to answer the questions; What are we all seeking? And what is it that connects us as human beings.
The show will feature a series of important perspectives from our young people, including themes of dating, family, friendship, puberty, LGBT identity, image, choice, romantic highs and lows, and what it feels like to be displaced – living between the cracks of this world.
Duration: 2 hours with interval
Age recommendation: 12+
Tuesday 2 July – Friday 12 July 2019