BWW Review: ONE GREEN BOTTLE, Soho Theatre
Boo, Bo and Pickle have all made plans for the evening, but someone has to remain at home and look after the pregnant pooch, Princess. Each of their engagements is of paramount importance to the individual, and what starts off as meaningless folly turns into a downward spiral of absolute anarchy.
The team that brought the international hit The Bee work together again in the European premiere of Hideki Noda's wild story that shows a disconnected family quickly self-destructing and struggling through a severe detachment from traditional Japanese culture.
Noda has become renowned for creating provocative and political work that pushes the boundaries of theatrical performance. His taste is eclectic and humorous, but always grounded by a specific point of focus. It's no easy feat to be the writer, director and performer in the same piece, but he achieves this superbly.
His co-collaborators Kathryn Hunter and Glyn Pritchard are equally brilliant as Father and Daughter - yes, in that order; the production has been gender-swapped. Their performances are over the top, caricature and very, very funny. It's clearly obvious that the three of them have so much fun working together; this enthusiasm radiates off stage.
The production blends a mix of classical cultural norms and modern-day interpretations. Keeping true to Kabuki traditions, music is performed by Denzaemon Tanaka XIII, a renowned player in Japan. Wearing traditional dress he interweaves instruments and vocalisations into the narrative with an impressive skill.
In a way this show is a perfect fit for the Soho Theatre. The venue prides itself on showcasing the absurd, the surreal and downright outrageous. One Green Bottle has all of that in heaps. It certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but theatre that divides opinion is surely the most exciting.
I personally liked it, and in my view, seeing this show is a risk worth taking.
Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks