Having heard only good things of Black Country Touring, I was determined to experience their latest creation to see what all the fuss was about.
I'm delighted to report I wasn't disappointed. I must admit, on arrival, I was not in the mood for participatory touchy feely theatre so was slightly apprehensive when faced with an unusual set. From past experience this has taught me to stand at the back and avoid eye contact.
Eat! is essentially made up of 4 mini productions, each in an adapted caravan on site of the cobblestoned courtyard of The Roundhouse. A main stage pulls the whole together however, to provide a communal performance area and also, in my case, served to create a healthy barrier between viewer and performer.
Some very clever fusion music was a good start in creating ambience - who knew a trumpet and a sitar could create such harmony playing the blues! Invited into the first caravan, I immediately felt transported into another world.
Each one is themed to suit the stories and homely decorated, matching times and places with such imaginative detail that I felt I was visiting grown-up playhouses. A delightful evening full of stories of food, love and joy, interwoven with tragedy ensued, beautifully captivating the audience. I laughed and cried during this production - not easy on a wet Thursday night in Ladywood. Some truly wonderful performances by talented performers and an enthusiastic, well organised crew.
Don't just take my word for it, I strongly recommend you catch this. I guarantee you'll be chattering about it for a long time afterwards. Only trouble is, you may, like me, immediately begin craving the next creation of Black Country Touring.
Showing: 18-27 October. The REP @ The Roundhouse