Black Pudding at The Bussey BuildingCultureTheatre
The Wind-Up Collective are a performance group who specialise in cabaret and immersive theatre. After the success of their debut production, Box Junction, The Bussey Building was privy to their latest theatrical endeavour, Black Pudding, which promised music, comedy and theatre.
In the early stages of the performance the audience were treated to a jazz band, which set a chilled atmosphere. Slowly, characters in costume emerged from behind the stage, walking among the assemblage and interacting in a warm but unexplained manner. It soon became clear that it was part of the act when the host of the night, known as Old Man, was introduced. From here on in observers were led to believe that they were at a party and that it would be the night of their lives.
Unfortunately this did not turn out to be the case. The dark comedy quickly revealed itself to be a parody of popular fairy tale stories, but with a few, supposedly creative twists. One of the characters is an evil mother who wishes for her daughter Goldilocks to meet Prince Charming. There is a beautiful princess, who longs to meet a prince and be married, and an oddity that takes the form of a husband and wife sharing the same body depicting an abusive relationship. Throw in a singing wolf called Furry Bassey and you have the cast in full.
Tragically, the script is deficient and badly played out. The use of domestic violence in the narrative throughout was random and inappropriately handled. The laughs were minimal and most chuckles seemed to be due to the pitiable acting and occasionally disastrous scenes. The actors, dressed in ill-fitting costumes, sung terribly to poorly crafted musical numbers and the proceedings were predictable.
Black Pudding did not have many redeeming features beyond the efforts of the band, which looked as put out as the audience did witnessing the flailing drama unfold. The audience participation was unsettling and left on-lookers uneasy, if not mortified. The tale itself ended in ridiculous circumstances that were incomprehensible and lacked clear explanation. Overall it was a rather disappointing performance from all involved.
Black Pudding is on at The Bussey Building until 9th March 2013, for further information or to book visit here.