The Dark Carnival fuses 'spoken word, vivid imagery, and rolling, whisky-drinking songs'
- Lorna Irvine
- 19 February 2019
Vanishing Point's new production is a cabaret-infused piece which looks at a land populated by the recently deceased
Never ones for creating an empty spectacle, Vanishing Point always bring us inventive, thought-provoking theatre which wrestle with big ideas. Artistic director Matthew Lenton faces complex, often taboo issues with an unflinching gaze, and has previously tackled the ageing process, isolation, terminal illness and violent pornography addiction in critically acclaimed plays such as Tomorrow, Tabula Rasa and Wonderland.
Their new show The Dark Carnival is a rollicking cabaret-infused piece which looks at a land populated by the recently deceased. Through lusty songs, it asks what happens to these drifting souls, defined in Vanishing Point's publicity material as 'newcomers to the afterlife who discover that death is not actually the end' and 'who form their own necropolitan community where every night is party night'.
It's a strikingly ambitious collaboration, with music from A New International's Biff Smith, featuring 16 performers and musicians onstage, including Smith himself and Ramesh Meyyappan who is well-known for creating provocative theatre that incorporates physical theatre with magic.
Taking over the famous space at Tramway while the Citizens Theatre undergoes its transformation, this new production fuses spoken word, vivid imagery, and rolling, whisky-drinking songs, which are described as 'somewhere in between Leonard Cohen and The Muppets'. All of the numbers touch upon universal themes like sex, spirits, love, life and death. It's sure to appeal to theatre audiences seeking something which will move them, as well as those who simply want an entertaining evening out. It's a carnival like no other, both carnal and cadaverous.
Tramway, Glasgow, Tue 19 Feb–Sat 2 Mar; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 6–Sat 9 Mar; Dundee Rep, Wed 13–Sat 16 Mar.