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Prophesy @ The Blackall Studios

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
Event: -
Visit Blackall Studios to Decide if Prophesies Come True
It's not necessary to be familiar with Greek mythology before you see Prophesy at the Blackall Studio as the programme helpfully offers you the production's epilogue: the stories of the characters portrayed when they reach adulthood. It's possibly more important to have a good sense of direction when going to see the play as the entrance is round the block, down an alleyway and through the studio's back door.

BAZ Productions theatrical pop up experience begins once you are inside the bar area, where you will be able to watch silent projections of a rehearsal and indulge yourself in children's TV memory lane. If you are able to drag yourself out of one of the comfy leather armchairs or sofas, you can also take a look at the writings and drawings pinned to the walls, work that appears to have been created by young children.

Prophesy
Prophesy - Image Courtesy of Paul Biver

Once in the upstairs studio you will find yourself seated on one or other of the short sides that surround the raised playing area. The remaining two walls are white. One depicts a white board in a classroom and the other the geographical locations of Sparta and Troy. These places are occupied by Helen, Clytemnestra and Penelope, whilst the Trojans are represented by Paris, Achilles and Cassandra. The six children have not yet reached their teens, but hints of their older selves gradually creep in: Helen's need to be in control, Paris's domineering, macho nature, Cassandra's instability. The five actors play all six roles, as well as those of Theseus, The Oracle, and 'Sir' and 'Miss', two school teachers.

Whilst the children try to make sense of their lives and to understand the prophesies of the Oracle, we also need to work hard to follow what is going on. It isn't difficult as the rapid scene changes are signalled by a bang on the wall and the actors switch character by means of a single prop. Mark Weinman's Helen wears a glitzy headband, whilst his Achilles dons an elbow pad; Leila Crera's Oracle wears a necklace, and Geoffrey Lumb's 'Sir' wears glasses, whilst his Theseus drapes a scarf around his neck.

Prophesy
Prophesy - Image Courtesy of Paul Biver

The play, initially improvised by the cast and directors, is performed under full lighting, providing a strong connection between the actors and audience. We watch them at work and at play as we make connections with the mythological characters they will later become, whilst they remain completely bemused and confused by what has been predicted of them. Can prophesies be fulfilled? See Prophesy and decide for yourself.
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Why? To see a fascinating piece of pop up theatre
When: 7.30 Tuesday - Saturday and 3pm on Saturday
Where: Blackall Studios, Leonard Street, EC2A 4QS
Cost: 10 and 12
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