Thursday, 23 July 2009

REVIEW: “Blink! ...and you missed it”

It seems right to post about this as a follow-up to Too Close to the Sun. After all, there’s something about us theatre folk that craves, nay, demands an obsession with revisiting failures. And on the cabaret circuit, nothing draws out the hardcore like a concert of hits from everyone’s favourite flops.

Then again, if my experience (along with Mark Shenton’s) is anything to go by, there aren’t that many hardcore to go around. At least not for a month-long run at the Stag, which may be why these things are usually one-nighters.

But I digress.

Officially, any show which is commercially produced and fails to return turn a profit to its investors is a flop. For entry into Not Since Carrie, the flop-lover’s encyclopaedia, a show needed to fail financially AND run for under 250 performances (and run before 1988, though a second volume is long rumoured to be in the works.) The shows in Blink!...vary. Some are long running financial failures, some didn’t cross the pond well, and some are just, well, there.

At this point I should really just hand things over to Mr. Shenton, as his previously linked post on Blink! matches the majority of my thoughts almost word for word. A few other bits to bullet-point though...

-The narration was heavy on the Wikipedia (lots of dates and performance counts) and lacking in any sort of useful context for the songs. If you’re highlighting shows that nobody knows, then you have to give the audience some context lest the acting be completely lost. And yes, I have written better.

-The narrative delivery also came across as too casual and a last-minute concern. I liked that it was split amongst the cast, but it was thrown off and clearly not of much concern.

-”New Music” from Ragtime was well condensed from six characters to two, but played at a turbocharged tempo, which undermines the beauty of the song. Props for trying something different, but no.

-The two medley sequences, one on UK hits/US flops and one on actor-musos, despite being the most questionable in terms of merit in a piece like this, are the most entertaining parts of the evening.

I wish I could be more positive about Blink!, but the evening found itself squarely in the realm of decency, never falling too far or rising too high. It’s amusing and fairly cheap and the bar’s not too expensive for pre/post/interval drinks. And remember, it could always be worse.

Where: Above the Stag
When: Until 16 Aug, Tu-Fr @ 19:30, Sa @ 17:30 & 20:15, Su @ 18:30
How much: £10 unreserved
Concessions: None
RZ Unofficial “Worth Paying”: £5 with an E for Effort.
RZ Other Notes: I’d give it the £10 if someone had the clever idea of including a drink with the ticket price.

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