The North! The North! – 3 Stars


 The North! The North!

Omnibus Theatre

Reviewed – 1st March 2018


“this lyrical and twisted journey to the dark North succeeded in delivery magic but lacked spectacle”


Christopher Harrison’s solo show, The North! The North!, is an unsettling story set in a fractured late 20th Century England. A modern myth – spanning several decades – of a country split in two, and one man’s personal journey to find redemption and close the gap.

Written, performed and animated by Christopher Harrison and directed by John Walton, The North! The North!, uses highly physical storytelling, combined with animation, dreamlike puppetry and Magical Realism elements to deliver this dystopian tale. Despite nods to Magical Realism, the drab tarpaulin backdrop and chipboard workbenches, which comprise the set, felt distinctly English which succeeded in keeping the audience more rooted in Bradford than Bogota. Harrison’s haunting animations were set to be projected on-stage to immerse the audience further into bleak Northern Blighty, but unfortunately technical difficulties failed to deliver this vision.

Ecole Jacques Lecoq trained Harrison is a master storyteller and animator, however his performances of the eccentric array of characters that people this play, from hitchhiker to gunsmith, at times felt flat and lacked nuance. Despite this, his frenetic physicality and dexterous mime demonstrated great skill. Arguably the most captivating moments came from his ingenious use of puppetry, using tissue paper to build characters of genuine emotional depth.

Overall this lyrical and twisted journey to the dark North succeeded in delivering magic but lacked spectacle. However, I am sure Harrison’s vision would have been enhanced greatly with his promised projected animations.

Reviewed by Matthew Arthur


The North! The North!

Omnibus Theatre until 3rd March


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