Review: Roots

By 1927
HOME Manchester until 28th December

Roots is a poignant and immersive family friendly show that’s a captivating watch regardless of your age. Taking rarely told folktales, and bringing them to life through a mixture of animation, sound and live performance – the audience is taken on a journey that includes fat, fat cats, magical birds, and a well-endowed King. The narratives might be taken from the past, but they feel relevant to our present and future – and it felt particularly poignant given that we were watching the show on the same evening as the general election.

The fables were told through animation, live performance and sound, with an extraordinary visual style that was engaging throughout. The entire show was testament to the high standard of work that 1927 produces, and their performances, comedic timing and ability to integrate with projection and animation is truly impressive. 1927 consistently use technology in performance in a progressive way, while retaining a sense of whimsy and a style that feels as though it could have jumped straight out of an old cartoon.

The style of Roots is reminiscent of The Triplets Of Belleville or perhaps Roald Dahl’s twisted Tales Of The Unexpected. They tell stories that seem innocent, but aren’t afraid to step into the darkness and leave you thinking. One story that stood out in particular was the tale of a man who lived with poverty, and how hard it was to make poverty leave. It felt relevant and striking within the context of the current political climate.

As a whole Roots worked really well. Some of the fables were more enjoyable than others, but their ability to tackle a format that is constantly changing throughout and keep the audience’s attention is an splendid feat. The show itself is a visual feast, with fantastic performances and captivating sound.

© Megan Holland 2019

This production is at HOME, Manchester until 28th Dec 2019. Book now.

Following its run at HOME, Roots will go to:

The Old Market, Brighton, UK, 3-19 January 2020
Centro De Las Artes, Santiago Chile, 22-25 January 2020
Theatre de la Ville Paris, Paris, France, 24 – 29 March 2020

Roots pic 08 (110).jpg

 

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