Twerk in Progress at the Southbank CentreCultureTheatre
We all know the old saying “begin as you mean to go on”. On entering the room where Twerk in Progress will take place the audience is greeted with a man (Mawaan Rizwan) in an all-black bodysuit, with sunglasses and a helmet on his head with a giant microphone attached, dancing enthusiastically. This ridiculous image captures the absurdist nature of the next hour.
Rizwan opens the show by stating “the world is a scary place right now, and I’m here to offer you one hour of freedom”, and that is exactly what is provided. The basis of this piece is silly humour that delivers laughs and joy for theatre-goers. The mix of dance, poetry, songs and stand-up ensures that there is never a moment of boredom. Just as there is no one medium of performance there is no set theme, meaning one cannot predict what is coming. This variety is one of Twerk in Progress‘s major assets, as Rizwan uses a range of talents to make the audience laugh, and explores topics ranging from baby wipes to Brexit.
The way the comedian works off the spectators is great; he is unafraid of getting up close and personal with them. Rizwan has the ability to hold the attention of the room and uses this to his advantage – for those who get uncomfortable easily, it would be recommended that they stay away from the first two rows as he prays on these people. The addition of live music, however, does not add much to the performance simply because the audience is always focussed on the main attraction, Rizwan.
Twerk in Progress isn’t high art and never claims to be, but it delivers where it has to: Rizwan will make you laugh.
Twerk in Progress was at the Southbank Centre on 28th May 2017.