Thursday, 25 February 2021

REVIEW: My Mix(ed up) Tape at the Living Record Festival

The third and final review of a show from the amazing Living Record Festival, a celebration of digital art taking place between the 17th January to 22nd February. The festival takes place digitally to provide access to theatre for everyone world-wide, with a platform of over 40 independent artists and theatre companies from across the world streamed for you to enjoy at the click of a button. 
This one was a digital R&D project created by Katie Payne, with direction from Catherine Paskell of Dirty Protest Theatre, a Welsh theatre launched in 2007, that has showcased work from over 200 artists across Wales & England and a superb platform for independent works. The project was called ‘My Mix(ed up) Tape’ a short sharing of a play about a 30 something woman called Phoebe, or ‘P’ for short, trying to navigate us sporadically through her cousin Caroline’s wedding party back in her hometown in the Welsh Valleys.

The mood of the piece is set initially by the music, a set that begins with London based DJ Glade playing the classical tunes you would associate with a typical two-step at a wedding such as ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. The tone is a relaxing vibe of listening to these records, that we have heard over a hundred times, and this is supported with the cheap lighting visuals, provided by Graphic/Visual Designer Nic Finch, sort of giving a screensaver on the computer feel to it, portrayed behind the DJ on a green screen. Then insert Pheobe. 
Phoebe as a character gives me the chaotic energy of the cousin we all know that hasn’t quite got her life figured out… but she’s working on it! The comedic timing of this character had me laughing throughout, even though the moments that touched on dark humour, and the clever engagement of breaking the fourth wall allowed me to become more invested in the character, as she took us through her childhood and early adult years. Impersonations can come across as one dimensional and not creative, in my opinion, however I literally visualised every single character that she acted out, especially the characters Jamie and Ben, and had a full cast of people in my head from just one woman, her actions and her voice. 

As this was only a short extract from a play, in the works, I can only imagine it excelling from where it is currently. I thoroughly enjoyed the character Phoebe and the complementation of absolute bangers from the DJ set with Gypsy Woman and 21 Seconds allowing me to reminisce in my youth. I’m excited to see, with a little polishing around the edges, what this piece will become in the future.

Review by Corey Mitchell

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £5.00

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