OUIJA The Musical is, simply put, an experience. They not only break the fourth wall, but demolish it to the ground. The audience is ushered through to have an immersive, personal relationship with the piece. I must warn you though, nothing is what as it seems and there is nowhere to hide!
We are invited to meet a rock band on tour, at one of their late-night rehearsals. Organised by an insufferable band manager, the audience gets an intimate look at the inner trails, frustrations and friendship between musicians with a heavy dose of realism. Two cleaning ladies (a wonderful comedy double act with the beloved Welsh charm) reveal that the venue has a sordid past. Like the twins from “The Shining: they are our last eerie warning of what is about to ensue. But by this point it is too late, the doors are sealed and there’s no way out.
The Unknown Theatre Company have created something truly unmissable. First and foremost, I must applaud the writers, James and Rebecca Williams for creating an exciting, unique theatrical experience. I went through a rollercoaster of emotion, and yes I’ll admit their clever acts of deceit had me fooled; hook, line and sinker.
The actors perfectly encapsulate the hardships of a broke touring band with emotions running high and egos getting in the way. Complete with drum kit, keyboard, trumpet, electric guitar and bass, they expertly perform noteworthy rock songs with “horror movie-like” lyrics that would not sound out of place on my Spotify playlist. Not forgetting the drugged up, homophobic, self-absorbed manager, played by Thomas Walton. Walton does a standout performance, managing to be completely believable in such a caricature role and got right under my skin. Other favourable mentions are Kim Littlechild and Vicky Griffiths who had the perfect dead-pan, comic timing for the cleaners. Adding a flirtatious, dirty and bizarre element to the show, they had the audience in stitches.
The audience enters the space confused, reluctant and even disappointed, but when they leave, they are left grinning from ear to ear, still nervously laughing in a dizzying haze. Members of the audience screamed, sunk down in their seats, frantically looked around and jumped out of their skin. The air was thick with a mixture of nervous and excited energy. To know why, you have to experience it yourself.
A must see!
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