Sunday, February 18

Sit and Shiver Click for more info

I just realised that I've not yet done a theatre review since this blog came into being. Pretty disgusting considering how I like to think I like going to see stage plays.

But anyway, Sit and Shiver was a charming little production being held at the Hackney Empire. It was a single continuous scene (I'm sure that there's a technical word for that) about a Jewish family hosting a wake (or sitting shiver) for the loss of another senior member.

Each guest handles it in their own way, and the surprise visit of an old friend of the deceased makes things interesting later on, but otherwise it's not really full of plot (and I'm sure that there's a technical word for that too). One thing that always occurs to me when watching a play themed specifically for a particular culture is how close it resembles my own - for example, here was a family that followed ritual out of tradition without knowing exactly why.

Sit and Shiver was billed as a black comedy, but I'm not sure that's what it was. Yes, it was funny (in places anyway), but it was more regular situational than black. The production itself was interesting anyway; we either had a soliloquy or weird dancing phase every few minutes as each character went through their main development. I'm not sure how relevant the latter were.

The acting was okay (it took me more than a few minutes at the start to actually hear what was being said) and there were a few technical errors, mainly with the lighting. And oddly the second, more engaging, half was much shorter than I was expecting it to be, not that that's a flaw or anything.

I didn't really know what to expect from Sit and Shiver when I took my seat this evening. And writing about it now, I don't think that I was too disappointed. I think it was the whole easiness and lack of challenging themes that did it, but the play turned out to be pretty effortless to watch.