Sunday, 24 February 2013

‘Riot’ at Bristol Old Vic

“An ëpic tale of viølence, greed and chëap sofas”

Riot was a sell-out success at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has since toured all over the UK and US. Now it’s back at the Bristol Old Vic, where it’s creators The Wardrobe Ensemble debuted it in June 2011.

It’s another sterling example of the kind of home-grown talent we’ve come to expect from the excellent Bristol Old Vic and it’s various programmes that encourage and nurture young theatre-makers.

Riot is based on a true story of a flatpack furniture superstore (no prizes for guessing which one) that hopes by opening 24/7 it will meet the demand of bargain-hungry Londoners eager to snap up an amusingly-monikered lamp and a sofa bed.

Directed by Tom Brennan, Riot has a brilliant cast of nine who combine comedy, acting, song, dance and mime to recreate the horror show of the grossly over-crowded Edmonton furniture store, which thought it had followed all the necessary safety guidelines.

All of the cast bring something special to the show, but particular stand-out performances come from Tom England (as the unfortunately named James Blumpt) and Jesse Meadows (in a delightfully understated role as the confused Swedish sales assistant Janna). The absolute highlight for me was the amazingly choreographed fight/dance between Fiona Mikel and another cast member… mind-boggling in its intricacy.

The Wardrobe Ensemble is one to keep an eye on. For sure.

Riot was performed at Bristol Old Vic. 

The Wardrobe Ensemble returns to the Bristol Old Vic with 33 from July 10-13.

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