|Albion: Fast and Furious Action at The Bush|
Penny Flood finds this multi-media event just a bit too frenetic
It’s Karaoke night at the Albion pub in London’s East End. The pub is run by Paul (Steve John Shepherd) and his brother Jayson (Tony Clay) who is in charge of the Karaoke.
Jayson lives for Karaoke but Paul has other things on his mind. He feels threatened by immigrants who he says are taking jobs, housing and benefits from the English. Determined to reclaim England for the English he has set up the English Protection Association (EPA) and he’s organised a march, fully supported by his best customer and best friend Kyle (Delroy Atkinson) which sets off a chain of events after which nothing can ever be the same.
Tony Clay (Jayson) image by Richard Davenport
This is a highly political, fast moving multi-media event with lots of big television screens, plenty of music and a computer. The story is told through songs, music, video and words in a series of short, snappy vignettes. We learn what’s going on in bits and pieces, and you do have to concentrate, especially as one of the story lines runs backwards.
Nicola Harrison, Delroy Atkinson (Kyle), Tony Clay (Jayson). by Richard Davenport
It’s clever, funny, sad, surprising, shocking and tragic, with some sharp dialogue. It’s also thought provoking and unsettling.
Although Paul can be easily dismissed as a ranting, racist there’s much more to him than that. He’s a complex character and, although he’s hard to like, he becomes more understandable as things go along.
The same goes for his side kicks – Jayson and Kyle. You can’t take anything or anyone at face value. Other plots and characters are interwoven into the main story rounding it out and delivering some interesting twists until it lurches to its desperate end.
Nicola Harrison (Poppy). image by Richard Davenport
Albion is on at The Bush Theatre until October 25. For more details and online booking go here.
September 29, 2014