Reviewed – 25th January 2018
“an intense kaleidoscope that is so vivid that it takes on a breathing, seething life of its own”
We take our seats in the dingy Cavern room in the Vaults at Waterloo. Drops of murky water drip from the ceiling, and the audience lines the stage on two sides. A thick, dimly-lit haze hangs over the stage, where the figure of a man can just be made out. David Fairs’ Tomorrow Creeps is weird before it has even begun. As a story of ghosts and madness inspired by the storytelling of Kate Bush and drawn from sixteen works from Shakespeare, weirdness is clearly high on the agenda for theatre company Golem!
The text of the play is a mixture of original writing and borrowed lines of Shakespeare, decontextualised and applied to this new, strange situation. This is a surprisingly smooth fusion that feels darkly archaic rather than simply Shakespearian and adds yet another complex, murky layer to this unique production. Unfortunately, the Kate Bush additions may have been an experiment too far, as the sudden, and mercifully sparing, sequences set to ‘80s pop hits draw nervous laughter from an unconvinced audience.
Those sections are blemish on the face of what is otherwise a stunningly visceral production. From start to finish, Tomorrow Creeps is an intense kaleidoscope that is so vivid that it takes on a breathing, seething life of its own. From the subterranean setting, to meticulous use of props and lighting, to the fact that all three actors take their bow exhausted and filthy, it is impossible to imagine that something occult has not taken place for real. The ordeal, with all its rage and the mania, is genuine.
Tomorrow Creeps is so ambitious and devastatingly odd that, inevitably, some parts come a little unstuck. While the Cavern is a wonderfully atmospheric environment, its length and acoustics meant that some sections of dialogue could easily become lost; in an unfamiliar play about madness with remixed text without obvious scene transitions, it is inevitable that some sections become difficult to follow. Nevertheless, this is an intoxicating and unique production that deserves its place at the forefront of contemporary fringe theatre.
Reviewed by Matthew Wild
Vaults Theatre until 28th January