25 May 2011

Operation Greenfield at the Soho Theatre

This was a demonstration of the power Twitter!

I started following @sohotheatre after seeing Chekhov in Hell there recently and through them I saw lots of good comments about Operation Greenfield so I made a spur of the moment to go and see it on a free Monday evening. I'm glad that I did.

Its described as "a fast-paced, funny and furious tale of four unlikely teenagers on the rocky road to battle-of-the-bands stardom." Which is true but that leaves out that its a Christian band playing in a church competition in a small village, that one of the girls is an immigrant (French) and there is a dose of sexual awakening too, including a Brookside moment.

Music features heavily with the band playing a few pieces and heavy use of background music (controlled by the actors themselves) when the band was not playing.

I did not catch all of this but we had two decent chunks from Einstein on the Beach and, I think, Tavener's The Protecting Veil (or was it Avro Part?).

The music height was Five Years that started as background music and was finished by the band very loudly, joyfully and wonderfully. At that point they sounded like a traditional rock band, which is what The Spiders from Mars were.

Elsewhere the music was harder to categorise featuring, as it did at various times, a flute, accordion and a xylophone. A Christian Jethro Tull perhaps.

But I digress, music is important but it is just one aspect of the play that fizzes and bounces along for an hour and a half or so without pausing for breath. The few props, mostly chairs and a picnic blanket, are moved continuously as we move smoothly from scene to scene.

The humour, and there's a lot of humour, comes from the script and from the actors who brilliantly convey the delights and pains of being a teenager and also use exaggerated expressions as they tell their tale directly to us.

It was good to see such a full theatre and with so many young people there. The demographics can be rather different at other theatres!

I went to see Operation Greenfield simply because so many other people recommended it. The least that I can do is pass that recommendation on.

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