The Animals and the Children Took To The Streets, Grand Theatre Blackpool
With an unlikely hero who looks like a cross between Edward Scissorhands and Eraserhead, and a female lead who could be Buster Keaton in drag, this much travelled perfectly timed fusion of performance and storytelling, animation and film was never going to be a normal night out at the theatre.
But that’s the thing about the shows the Showzam! Festival annually brings to town. Expect the unexpected – and make the most of them while they are here.
This was multiple award winning production company 1927’s first Blackpool visit and thankfully the reception they received should encourage more of the same.
White faced curtain twitchers welcome the audience like an albino Andrews Sisters to Bayou Mansions, a sprawling tenement block in anytown, anywhere at anytime.
Its problems are our problems – gangs run riot, the wolf of debt and hardship is always at the door, whatever can be moved can be stolen and there seems like no escape.
It’s an Orwellian world with Pied Piper overtones as Agnes Eaves and her daughter Eve arrive late one night from somewhere else, smarter than the average Bayou resident but with little more chance of surviving intact.
The residents know that if you’re born there you die there. Only Agnes, Eve and the depressingly lonely caretaker think otherwise.
Whilst animated cockroaches crawl the walls on Red Herring Street, Zelda and her pubescent Pirates cause chaos. But 1927 inject fun into the hopelessness and even provide the audience with a choice of ending – realistic or idealistic, though you can probably guess which one they opt for.