Review: ★★★★ Derailed, Ovalhouse

It’s Little Soldier Productions leaving party! Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of them or seen their shows before, you are still invited. And they make you feel as welcome as if it was your best friend’s party. Go to the Ovalhouse and celebrate with Patricia and Mercè – don’t worry about the Cava and party poppers, it will be provided.

Derailed is the description of how this show came to be, a trail of thoughts turning in to something more and different than the original idea. As Brexit happened, that obviously had to come to play in a show created by two Spanish women. The result is their leaving party, not to talk about Brexit mainly, but to focus on the past and whether they managed to do what they intended to do: make a difference in the world. They did this by taking the audience on a trip down memory lane, to their time as activists, their incidents in the UK with racism and experiences that have made them who they are today.

Being such heart warming people, the audience feel like they know Patricia and Mercè and there was no hesitation from anyone to participate in the party; whether that was making gazpacho or acting as a Spanish classmate at a demonstration. As this is an autobiographical piece, the audience got to know them and feel for them as they got to see the most personal space the girls had. They got pulled right back out again by being meta-theatrical and reminding the audience how much time was left of the show to change the world.

Patricia and Mercè are part of the live band on stage with Dan and Thomas, although none of the girls played instruments before this show. The live music, crazy as it is, is actually enjoyable and brings a certain atmosphere to the piece and really adds to the rock and roll feel of the demonstrations they are portraying in their memories. As well as adding to the more current political satire they turn the show to be about.

The acting felt minimal, as though the actors wanted to show themselves. When they needed to speak Spanish they did, and there were either subtitles or a translation. Beyond that it was incredibly funny. Stomach-cramping funny. And it was messy, incredibly messy, which is to be expected from the title. Sometimes the red thread disappeared and there was just a woman in a bra with a pig’s nose crawling through the audience, but they somehow managed to bring it back or at least make the messiness not matter, because at the end of the day, the world is messy. 

A range of emotions are explored, which was exactly how they explained what they set out to do in the memories portrayed on stage: It’s sometimes funny, sometimes touching, mostly improvisation. It was evident as they sang a song about oxytocin and got the audience to hug strangers for 20 seconds to release a feeling of safety amongst other things, that they knew exactly what they were doing. These girls know exactly how to handle their audience. 


Derailed plays at the Ovalhouse until 7th March. 



1 Comment

  1. March 13, 2018 / 10:47 am

    Quite agree, I saw this show when it came to Plymouth, it was silly, poignant and joyous – I loved it.

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