Post at Ovalhouse
Sitting somewhere between a one-man show, a university lecture and a night at a mate’s house, Post, written and conceived by the charming Xavier De Sousa, is a delightfully original piece of experimental theatre. The play is “extra-live”, which basically means that it’s interactive and in breaking the wall between actor and spectators it feels more like an experience than a performance. Its aim is explorative and although questions (at times somewhat profound) are raised, the answers aren’t necessarily required, leaving it up to each individual audience member to make personal sense of it all themselves.
Post sets out to discuss ideas about culture and how a place can make a person who they are, questioning the importance of national identity in a modern world of free movement. De Sousa begins with a presentation of his own background and the Portuguese roots that remain a fundamental part of him after having relocated to Britain. He sits on a stage with a large wooden dinner table, cooking a meal as he speaks and soon he invites spectators to participate in sharing some Portuguese cachaça from his makeshift bar. As he pours the drink (surprisingly sweet but with a good ol’ kick) he asks the audience questions about their own backgrounds. This may seem like it could get a bit stressful for some people but De Sousa makes everyone feel at ease and even eager to talk to him. The show has the feel of an international party type get-together with informative interludes, and ends with De Sousa inviting three theatregoers on to the stage to share the meal he has prepared around the table.
The piece is perfect for an audience who are willing to learn but who are also not afraid to share their own backgrounds and experiences. Never becoming too intellectual or overwhelming, Post is grounded and real, interactive and dynamic. Enjoy a drink, have a chat, marvel at De Sousa’s hypnotic traditional Portuguese dancing and absolutely don’t miss out on a bite of the burnt chorizo.
Post is at Ovalhouse from 30th November until 3rd December 2016, for further information or to book visit here.