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Deadtown - REVIEW

Aurora Speaking - blog, Mhari Aurora, 29.6.2019


'So, BE (Birmingham European) Festival has returned for another year and to kick it all off the Forman Brothers have brought their new whacky and wonderful show to the brummuie stage. As I was watching this piece, I was picking my brains how on earth I would write my review for it as it is truly like nothing you have ever seen before… Imagine a Western that pays homage to silent film with a bit of circus thrown in and that’s what you get! This show is the perfect piece to launch BE Festival as it is high energy and fast-paced, taking the audience on an extraordinary journey to the Wild West like they’ve never seen before.   

When I read up about the show before going to see it, nothing could have prepared me for what I saw; the performers were exquisite, making us all laugh constantly throughout the show, as well as showing off their acrobatic, musical and physical theatre skills. Although this show contains no dialogue, the use of song and a few cleverly-placed subtitles was more than enough to keep the audience up to speed on what was happening and the ingenious scenes mimicking old silent movies spoke for themselves. When the show was over the audience were invited up onstage to join the cast for a drink at the saloon bar while listening to the sweet sounds of the musicians and vocalists. This was such a fantastic feature to the show that really solidified the tone of the piece, as the audience then became part of the production and crossed the fourth wall to be able to engage in the piece on another level.   

It is always such a pleasant surprise to have a live band onstage, as all too often these days pre-recorded sound is used in productions instead. However, Deadtown featured a magical live band that brought so much vigour, energy and fun to the show, featuring of course a harmonica and other traditional instruments from the time period to create an authentic setting for the Western extravaganza. I enjoyed this piece so much that I would see it again, and I am so pleased that the Forman Brothers came all the way from the Czech Republic to open up BE Festival with such a wonderous piece of theatre. If this piece is anything to go by, this year’s BE Festival is going to be something very special indeed!'