Review: Winners, The Theatre on the Downs
5.0Overall Score
Listen to the audio version here.

Winners is a rapid flick through history from the very beginning of time. A look into humanity and the greed and corruption that has overtaken us. This super speedy performance, is like one big Jack in the Box on repeat.

The Wardrobe Ensemble performs at The Theatre on the Downs, which is truly epic. A massive blue tent with intimate seating, makes this immersive show all the more inclusive. Synchronised in every way, this company works in unison. Tom England, Hanora Kamen , Joseph Langdon, Kerry Lovell, Jesse Meadows, James Newton and Ben Vardy all work together to make this beautiful socio-politically charged piece of theatre. From the music to choreography, to informative facts and figures, this rollercoaster of emotions grips you on the edge of your seat, quite literally. Twists and turns, the history runs down to the present day. With a gloomy look at our destructive world, the witty humour in this piece is outstanding.

Quirky moments are enhanced in larger than life characters that are almost hysterical. The clever finishing touches on this performance make it memorable, and the idea of the main character becoming a clown gradually over the course of the show, is metaphorical and symbolic. Fitting perfectly to a play all about a prominent subject matter and how we as a nation are ‘fucked’.

Co-directors Jesse Jones and Helena Middleton had a task putting this together, but it has paid off. There are no gaps or errors and the use of set and props was captivating; with one section, they mimic an actor on stage with a puppet, which all the actors control. This is a credit to real collaborative work which is so lovely to see and creates a joyous, excited atmosphere. The audience participation is authentic and genuine and every single person loves it (if I do say so myself!).

I have to say I come away from the evening all the more educated, lively and buzzing to get back to a theatre. This performance is entirely up my street. I adore work that is innovative and captures a clear moral message that we as a society can take forward with us. After all, isn’t that what theatre is all about? This company is one to watch and I am delighted to recommend Winners to anyone who has a true love for theatre and live art and can appreciate all the hard work that goes into such a flawless performance.

Winners is playing at The Theatre on the Downs until 28 August 2021. For more information and tickets, see Bristol Old Vic’s website.