There can be certain scepticism amongst theatre goers surrounding companies or acts that arise as a product of popular television talent competitions, a snobbery that I myself am often guilty of. However, despite any preconceptions that one may have had of Attraction Performance’s The Box, The Britain’s Got Talent winning company certainly demonstrated their individual, creative performance style utilising shadow techniques, and their original use of innovative technologies such as black light and video mapping.

The Box, creation of Attraction Performances’ founder and Artistic Director Zoltan Szucs, is described as ‘an emotive, emotional story spanning three generations and highlighting the importance of real love and family’. The story is portrayed through the creation of shadows against projected, digital environments. The audience follow the main character, Liza, and her descendants through various disasters that befall their blood line. Liza’s kidnapped. Her husband becomes embroiled in an unspecified war. Liza has a baby. There’s a Tsunami. A character dies… or does he? He’s back again. Oh yes, he is dead. The characters are in America, then the Far East, then America again. It’s all very confusing. This lack of narrative clarity may be product of the abstract nature of shadow work; however it also appears to be the result of a desire to bombard the audience with a catalogue of catastrophes and humanitarian crises. Perhaps this is due to an inability to settle on which tragedy would have the most heart wrenching effect.

The perplexing storyline is made all the more disjointed by the insertion of unrelated scenes, such as a lively routine to Dear Future Husband by Meghan Trainor, in which floating fluorescent hands, feet and hats dart choreographically around the stage. Despite muddling The Box’s chronology, it is sections such as this that are the most visually satisfying, and highlight how the success of Attraction’s work does not lie in their storytelling abilities, but more in their imagistic spectacle and use of technology. More impressive than the futuristic technology is the dancers’ abilities to work as a collaborative unit to make their shadows morph into complex images of scenes such as cityscapes and a war zones. However, although the formation of such landscapes is initially mesmerizing, overtime one may find their interest wanes, as they grow accustomed to the performers’ abilities and techniques.

Whilst one may pick holes in The Box, it is still indisputable that at the end of the work, the audience granted the performers a standing ovation – the ultimate symbol of appreciation. Maybe this reflects that compositional details such as cohesive narrative structure are not always pivotal for the success of a commercial theatre work. Sometimes, it appears, an innovative idea executed with integrity can be all that is needed to win the audience over with intrigue and fascination.

The Box played The London Palladium for one night only on 10 March 2016. For more information see London Theatre Direct.