“Cat Kolubayev has written an extremely funny piece that keeps you guessing”
VAULT Festival continues to throw up the most varied content.
Bin Juice starts off with two ladies who work for a hazardous removal company, interviewing for a new employee. But this waste collection unit does not pick up empty Domino’s boxes, their waste is a lot more sinister, with human bodies requiring disposal.
The Cavern theatre, with its brick walls, high ceiling and resident echo, cannot help but be eerie. Lighting (Holly Ellis) is well designed, as is the sound (Tingying Dong). The audience seating is arranged like opposing church pews facing off against each other, with the performance space in the middle. Director Anastasia Bruce-Jones does a tremendous job in moving the cast around this space for the benefit of all the audience. The set comprises of a couple of small tables and chairs with a black rubbish bag sitting centre stage.
Adeline Waby as Francine drives the action along and is strongest in the opening interview scene. I would like her to have slowed down her delivery ever so slightly, to avoid crucial words not being picked up. Madison Clare is her sidekick Marla, her facial expressions and comic timing were spot on. She was the highlight of the show for me and the story detailing her mother’s demise and explaining her crush on Captain Birdseye were a delight. Helena Antoniou as Barney/Belinda makes up the trio. She is a complex, multi-layoured character that you can’t quite make out. What exactly is her story and why does she wear a turtle neck in hot weather? A very interesting and solid performance.
Cat Kolubayev has written an extremely funny piece that keeps you guessing and you can’t help but be drawn in by the plot. Only in the second scene, did I feel that the pace dipped slightly.
I’m not the greatest fan of black comedy and I worried that this might be distasteful. Instead I found it rather charming and yet slightly unsettling at the same time.
Here we witnessed an example of excellent team work. Every single member of the crew and cast did their job with flair and precision timing, in a very slick production.
I’m off to buy some vegetables from a Lincolnshire farm, I hear they taste great.
“what a courageous and monumental amount of effort must have been spent putting this special show together”
Chyna Brianna Harrison-Bell is a young teenage girl. This production combines video film of Chyna telling us about her daily routine and thoughts, these are complemented and accompanied by Chyna using movement on the Vaults stage.
Chyna is deaf.
The stage is bare apart from a cloth that acts perfectly as a screen for the projections and is occasionally used for shadow dancing.
Chyna is like any other teenage girl, telling us how she doesn’t like getting up in the morning, how her school uniform is too tight around the neck and how she’s happiest when on holiday in Jamaica or when she’s playing football. Her movement portrayals of her friends Jinton, Mia, Sarah and Power Boy are amusing, as are her thoughts on David who she likes, but he’s not her boyfriend!?!
The video clips are put together in a kind of teenage magazine, storybook style and this is well directed and edited by Laurence Dollander. Laurence also assists Chyna during the show, cueing her in with a series of movements and flash cards. The tight bond between the two is plain to see.
Chyna has a strong love for her family and it was delightful to hear about her baby sister learning to use sign language and how these two mischievous girls are discovering how to communicate with each other.
There was some nice audience interaction as a couple of people chose random cards and Chyna used the appropriate sign language and movement to depict these.
It’s hard to criticise a show like this. My only note was that I found the backing music a little dull and repetitive, although was it created like that for the bass and vibration? Then I thought about it and realised that I was just lucky to be able to hear it at all.
Both Chyna and Laurence come from Oak Lodge, a specialist school for the deaf in Balham. What fantastic work all the staff do there. Apparently this show is part of a bigger project, I look forward to finding out more.
At forty minutes, this was almost too short. But what a courageous and monumental amount of effort must have been spent putting this special show together. Chyna is a cheeky, funny, talented young lady and it was an absolute privilege to spend a short amount of time learning about her life and having the opportunity to hear her voice.