Teatre Novogo Fronta: Dias de las Noches

Norwich Arts Centre

Theatre that styles itself new frontier sets high expectations in using the old to invent the new.

Set in 1974, two Russian performers have defected to Argentina and as they face the reality of never returning home, they are surrounded by a local military uprising.

Having been told that much, we were off on a madcap whirl of cabaret, circus and a burlesque of a seedy underworld peopled by the undead, the disturbed and the frantic.

The show had the air of being rough and ready - spit and sawdust theatre. But that was deceptive. We tapped into somebody's nightmare with the Big Bang - symbolised by twisted naked bodies writhing to a sound track to match.

Some of the ragbag of sketches were funny, others obscure, but all were done with a flourish and admirable energy.

Was this political theatre? Or with their snowstorm finale and video images of Charlie Chaplin did they confess their debt to their comic roots?

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I was still making my mind up when it ended. On one level it was very clever stuff. On another more emperor's new clothes level, it was a random mish-mash. Either way it was great fun.

David Porter

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