Review: States

By Jumble Theatre

Jumble Theatre describe themselves as a ‘self-led, inter-generational community theatre group.’  Based at Jackson’s Lane in North London, the troupe came together to make a show some years ago and following the success of that, kept on going.

Their latest show ‘States’ explores the idea of ‘change’ through varying forms and ideas.  Though there’s no consistent narrative, the 14 strong company entertain for two hours with their theatrical explorations and devices. Short devised scenes shift between dance, song, monologue, dualogue, spoken word and movement. Continually engaging, the cast bring a great range of skills to the piece, each stitching a little of themselves in to the fabric of the work they’ve created; it’s honest and from the heart. It becomes a challenge to determine what’s autobiographical and what’s fiction, though ultimately, it doesn’t matter.  It’s a gentle Saturday evening saunter though an amalgamation of ideas and concepts, picking up pace at certain points, and slowing at others, creating its own luring rhythm. It sets along chasing after many questions and possibilities – ‘What if it was the last day of planet earth?’ ‘What is home?’ and ‘Why do we ask people how they are, when we only expect the answer to be ‘I’m fine’? It felt like several cans of worms were opened and left in space, for us, the audience, to ponder and choose which ones we would delve in to further once the performers had departed and we were alone on the tube ride home.

The togetherness of this ensemble is palpable, this is a team that have clearly worked in tune with one another to build a piece representative of them.  It’s a gloriously diverse cast, in every way imaginable, and a breath of fresh air from the 20 -30 somethings we seem to witness dominating London’s Fringe stages.  It was a highly enjoyable evening, with a fun and engaging company that brought a wide range of skills and talents to the Courtyard’s Stage.  You can keep an eye on Jumble Theatre here.  No doubt they’ll be cooking up more thought-provoking work soon.

© Amie Taylor 2015

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