title. Manga Sister
company. liveartshow /// The Yard Theatre, London
composer . Harry Blake Libretto . Alan Harris design . Will Holt choreographer . Andrew McAulay conductor . Andrew Macmillan
video design . Adam Young photography . Toby Farrow
TIME OUT CRITICS CHOICE
TIME OUT BEST THEATRE OF THE YEAR
Liveartshow's 'Manga Sister' is exactly the sort of batshit-mental enterprise you'd hope to be taking place in the middle of a big pile of reclaimed scrap in this desolate Olympic Park adjunct.
Essentially it's a pocket-sized (50-minute) opera about Gerald (Deryck Hamon), a wheelchair-bound old man locked up in an awful care home, whose last pleasure in life is a violent Japanese cartoon series that screens on telly late at night. When his carers decide to off him via a massive intravenous dose of gin, it's up to the cartoon's fictional heroes to save Gerald, violently, with big swords.
Martin Constantine's lucid direction, Will Holt's cleanly inventive design and projections, and a uniformly impressive group of singers, dancers and musicians combine to imbue this slight, striking show with gleeful conviction and surprisingly professionalism. An eccentric gem.
TIME OUT CRITICS CHOICE ****
The Yard in Hackney has used it's unique, interesting and exciting venue to stage an absurd genre mashing opera entitled Manga Sister.
Due to the vigour and inventiveness used to bring this "modern day fairy tale" to the stage, Liveartshow has created a truly unique experience that will prompt lively discussion and divide audiences like that biblical sea.
Director Martin Constantine grounds the production in reality and appears to have promoted his actors to perform the questionable storyline as straight as possible. This creates a stable grounding for the audience and means that, even when the narrative takes a ridiculous turn, the emotional ramifications for the characters aren't lost. These performances, coupled with visuals that are deep and rich without being busy or overpowering and magnificent musical accompaniment, makes for an oddly immersive and enjoyable experience.
A truly different piece of theatre.
REMOTE GOAT ****