Forge – The Vaults
Reviewed – 10th March 2020
“there are some deeply unsettling moments, as well as deeply poignant ones”
Superman is a piece of gig-theatre, performed by a company of nine, who sing, play instruments and perform spoken word monologues. The company – Rose Eye Productions – is a collective, formed ‘to encourage social change and conversation’ and Superman is the result of a project working with students and young people ‘to unravel ideas around sexual consent’. The piece makes use of verbatim recorded interviews and live performance, with members of the company also drawing on personal experience to create spoken word monologues, frequently performed with an underscore.
As ever, with this type of format, there are certain talents which stand out, but it would be counter to the spirit of the piece to name names in that way. It is clear, both from their publicity sheet and how they present on stage, that these performers wish to be seen as a collective, and they have a visual power and palpable strength when they are all on stage together.
It is a well-constructed hour, and the intimate microphone duologue, performed intermittently in the dark, is skilfully employed, and brings some theatre to the stage. The confessional monologues are, for the most part, performed from the heart, and there are some deeply unsettling moments, as well as deeply poignant ones. What this show makes apparent is that negotiating the minefield of early sexual experience still involves far too much pain for far too many young people – men and women, it is worth noting – and to see these nine passionate performers harnessing their talents to open up the conversation is heartening in the extreme.
Reviewed by Rebecca Crankshaw