One in a Million

Theatre Alibi at Norwich Playhouse

You would never be able to look at a busker quite the same way again, had you seen Theatre Alibi's show at the Playhouse last night.

He might have looked like any other soapbox crooner, but David, played by Tom Wainwright, was the bewildered owner of a miraculous life: involving narrow escapes from steamroller accidents, falling in love up trees, and the thwarting of international terrorist attacks.

This man was literally, One in a Million.

Theatre Alibi, a company which began life in the Eighties touring village halls with storytelling shows for children, has lost nothing of its immediate style.

We were instantly engaged in a seamless blend of poetry, slapstick clowning, and mime-based visual theatre. Even the set seemed to act, as the lights played deceptively over a beautifully-engineered open-fronted box, which unfolded this way and that to suggest everything from a station waiting room to a whole belfry of swinging bells.

A score of Thirties, Forties and Fifties songs, accompanied by tinny backing tape, or double bass set, was just the right mood for the busker's tale, and gave the opportunity for the characters to really touch their audience.

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Favourites, like Aint Misbehavin', The Way You Looked Tonight, and Your Feet's Too Big, gave a big feel to a small-scale show.

All power to director Nikki Sved and her talented ensemble.

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