Dumbshow takes to the stage in an imaginative and energetic new performance for the Edinburgh Festival. ROAR (by Oliver Bennett, Jack Cole and Jack Howson) mixes songs with a twisting narrative and a host of debauched women. It’s an excellent example of some of the talent at the Edinburgh Festival, should you choose to adventure to C Venues.
ROAR is a simple story: twin siblings are separated at birth and while one gains power in London, the other seeks to avenge their separation through a rebellious uprising of women against the men in power. It’s full of comedy, with witty one-liners and a plot that is oddly captivating.
The cast are excellent, performing with great enthusiasm. Director Michael Bryher keeps the narrative moving swiftly with minimal set and props, allowing the performers to work the text effectively. For a new piece of work, and an original story (although originally conceived by Sam Brassington and Sam Gayton) it is excellently engaging, although it could just as easily flop with an unresponsive audience. Thankfully the cast are in full control, and keep the momentum of the piece going without compromising the story.
Dumbshow has a certain quality to its work that seeks out the adventure and fun within theatre. ROAR takes on a certain comedic element that at first I was worried would be more like a panatomime than some of its previous devised work, but even I couldn’t fail to fall for the charm and adventure it proposes (even some of the rhyming lines are excellently cringe-worthy). It’s not all humour though, there are some tender and well written monologues that capture the real essence of the story.
With a crazy cast of wild, repressed women, and the odd musical number to set the narrative, Dumbshow brings the fun to theatre with an imaginative story suitable for any adult waiting for an adventure.
ROAR is playing at C Venues until 29th August. For more information visit the Dumbshow website.