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Review of Flash Festival: Blockhead Theatre Company - The Secrets Of Man at the Looking Glass Theatre

Blockhead's production easily became the most talked about following my viewing of it. Mostly it has to be said not for a good reason. It is also the first Flash I am reviewing after first reading Mr Mudbeast's take on it (here).

Four blokes in a room together is probably a dangerous thing and for the best part The Secrets Of Man showcased the danger with a slightly broken show which concentrated mostly on puerile humour and little (no) light and shade. Discussions after highlighted the lack of emotional impact in any scenes which would have taken us away from the mens clowning antics of the show. Having said all this it went down like a bomb with the massed ranks of the student audience. Although I suspect that that is not the target audience of a dissertation, but I am no tutor. I am merely a keen theatre goer.

Having been critical so far, I must say that there were many parts I enjoyed. The birth scene was excellently done (although I suspect difficult for many not in the front row to see the full impact), and yes the revolving broken door antics was fun. Even Joshua Thomas' elderly gent walk on was entertaining, the first, second, maybe third time. After that it really was an obvious time filler.

At the end of the day you get out what you put in to something. Blockhead despite being four members have no Twitter feed, no Facebook group, no website and there was no programme. Although this of course can have no bearing on the production, it can hint that there might also not have been the care taken on that as well.

With the slapstick nature of the show, it was difficult at times to work out whether tech issues were planned or not and although the set was nice to begin with, it frequently became a mess and shear luck that the item they were needing was actually where it was meant to be.

As Mr Mudbeast said in his review, the cast are indeed better than this and I am certain that they all will have excellent days ahead of them, this sadly was not one of them.



The Flash Festival 2015 runs between 18th-23rd May, 2015 at four venues across the town. Details can be found at http://ftfevents.wix.com/flashtheatre2015, while tickets can be booked via the Royal & Derngate. Details at: http://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whatson/2015-2016/Other/FlashFestival15

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