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David Porter » Reviews » Kitchen


Gob Squad at the Playhouse, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 6 May 2009


If you can remember the Sixties or weren’t there and want a taste of what a Happening was like, this is the show to watch. The quirky, aptly named Gob Squad hold forth in Kitchen (You’ve Never Had It so Good), a reconstruction of the 1965 Andy Warhol film.

This Anglo-German group are well versed in public and open-space performances and offer comedy with traces of surrealism and a streak of anarchy. The randomness of events, such as throwing cornflakes or smoking coffee granules, is typical of much of the thearical and artistic experimentation of that era. They use three screens behind which most action occurs, and we see the filmed projections from out front.

Gradually, several individuals from the audience are drawn in to replace the actors, and are fed instructions and lines through headphones. It is a clever device that actually works.

Re-creating the past also means travelling forward but making some sense of today … if ‘sense’ is the right word. It’s almost better not to try to fathom it – just enjoy it. The four performers are strong; the weird sensation of watching them on film soon becomes normal.

It also reminds us of the continuing appeal of the drug-fuelled, free love and abandon of that time. Recommended.

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