Physical Fest 2016, from one of the back rows of the Unity 1, amidst a shower of paper balls, a metal bucket, flies over the heads of the audience and lands in the middle of the stage with a loud bang.
Everything stops for a second, the audience is silent, the five actors on stage look at each other and then to the booth where the technicians are operating lights and sound. It seems everything is ok and they see, or imagine, the smiles on the faces of the technicians, so the show goes on.
This was one of the moments when the unexpected took over in Cabaret From The Shadows. We designed the show to be a constant dialogue between us and the audience. Most of the time the dialogue stays on the level of glancing to each other, sometimes it goes as far as someone throwing a metal bucket on the stage.
Since we were sitting in the office of the Lantern Theatre in the Baltic Triangle, talking to Margaret Connell and Siobhan Noble about the concept of the show, we wanted a show that would play with the audience’s fears and the taboo, and especially make them laugh while questioning whether they should be laughing at all. Most of the time the reaction of the audience surprises us.Like the time the show stopped for a few minutes because the audience were arguing about whether they should carry on participating in a scene that we intentionally wanted them to question. That was so much more than we expected and we were really blown away by just how passionate people got.
After a few years and thanks to the contribution of many people and organisations in Liverpool (The Lantern Theatre, Merseyside Arts Foundation, Physical Fest, Tmesis Theatre, The Unity Theatre, Hope Street Ltd., One Fell Swoop, Claire Bigley, Peta Lily, Brian Desmond, Montserrat Gili, Brendan Curtis-Burton, Roisin Fletcher, Yoel Orgelby and Vera Chok) and the support of Arts Council England, Cabaret From The Shadows has grown and won an award at Brighton Fringe and is ready to open its first tour with a date in Bergen as a show selected by the Nordic Network Fringe Award.
“Cabaret From The Shadows embodies the spirit of the fringe with a fat dose of 'expect the unexpected' mixed with the odd, the ugly and the beautiful. In an increasingly hostile world, we need antidotes that uncompromisingly deliver more crazy, more twisted, more everything. They put the jury in a state of equal delight and disgust”.
Adam Potrykus, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Stockholm Fringe Festival (Stoff 2017).
The show itself was inspired by traditional satirical cabaret, which has been lost from a lot of modern cabaret, and a form called bouffon, allowing us the freedom to explore many different topics- from the point of view of the outcasts of society- and fit them into one show. The audience at the Unity the 20th of September can expect an evening of laughs, absurdity and distorted views of the world we live in. Also get ready to answer some questions that arise from topics that we face everyday and are often covered by a veil of hypocrisy!
To book for Cabaret From The Shadows on Wed 20 Sep at Unity Theatre click here >>