Image: Tristan Bates Theatre
A funny, insightful and at times disturbing journey into the strange yet familiar world of dreams.
Lucid uses a surprising and imaginative mix of sound, physical theatre and surreal humour to explore the hidden depths of our subconscious.
New Public are a London-based theatre company, formed by graduates of RADA's MA Theatre Lab Program.
Their work is highly physical and includes an eclectic mix of different performance disciplines.
There's very little dialogue (other than a few words) in this devised piece presented by a 5 person team from New Public.
This, though, is not a play that relies on spoken words to convey either the central themes or any hidden meanings and intentions buried within them.
So, you may wonder, how do we understand what's happening?
Well, it's the actions of the cast that convey everything that we see in the show, though their actions are augmented with a wonderfully appropriate soundscape which includes aptly selected music from the likes of Minnie Riperton and Roy Orbison, in addition to classical pieces as well as some lovely live singing too.
And so there's never a moment when the audience is left in any doubt about the nature of the scenes we witness.
That, in itself, is a significant tribute to the hard-working, staggeringly energetic and hugely capable cast.
Essentially, the show is about the sometimes frightening, sometimes blissful moments we experience when we're asleep and our brain is supposed to be switched-off yet manages to concoct an odd mix of the authentic and the totally bonkers that merge in a mash-up which is often nonsensical, yet can feel convincingly real.
As we file into the theatre, the cast all look like they're asleep - eyes closed, sitting huddled-up close together on chairs.
Very little happens for the first couple of minutes as we sit and watch the cast twitch in their slumbers.
Gradually, things change.
Now part of the success of this type of show is the element of surprise, so I can only give the merest hint of the nature of the numerous scenes played-out here.
There is no plot as such, just a series of vignettes describing events such as awkward singing karaoke-style, a peculiar operation involving an egg, fight scenes and, in a final frantic crescendo, a man regaining his male prowess to achieve all of his many ambitions.
Like our dreams, the show is a heady mix of the bizarre, the mad, the scary, the real and the surreal, and it's all linked together in a flawless continuum.
Clockwork precision means that everything we see is timed to absolute perfection and the show is superbly paced, building in stages to a conclusion that is hysterically funny - and I don't use that kind of description often or lightly.
But when you're still giggling on the tube home (provoking nervous disquiet among your fellow passengers) you know that you've seen a really great show that leaves a lasting impression - and it is the funniest show I've seen in a long time.
Sadly, our schedule unfortunately meant that we couldn't get to review the production earlier, and there's only one more performance left now at Tristan Bates Theatre in the current run.
But keep your eyes glued to future schedules because this show must be back on soon (if there's any justice in the world) for Lucid is an inspirationally inventive, brilliant and unmissable show from a company with bags of stunning ideas and the talent to match.
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for Tristan Bates Theatre
Our show listing for Lucid
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