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Wind Up Collective

We headed to Camden for the Roundhouse Show Slam to watch London based youth theatre group Wind-Up Collective do their thing.


They deliver a fresh and incredibly funny fusion of Made in Chelsea meets Into the Woods (in the very best possible way) and Brothers Grimm meets Jeremy Kyle meets Shrek meets Jewish Mother of the Year and just for good measure a little Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. What do you mean we watch too much TV?

The highlights: A Blue Peter styled cake making demo, complete with “Here’s one I made earlier” turns a bit sour when anxious but outwardly perfect housewife present a resplendent Victoria sponge to her husband who Hulks out and strikes her with surreal flair (and the Vicky sponge) demanding carrot cake. It doesn’t sound funny, and it’s played sharply for realism, but what we failed to mention is that both roles the of husband and wife are played by the same actor split down the middle in this Victor/Victoria vignette of domestic abuse. Scenes segway and we get treated to a tale of Boy [with a luscious and ludicrous neon blue beard] meets girl, boy and girl meet show stealing, audience accosting, cross dressing wolf. If you like your burlesque extra burley the pipes on this boy are astonishing. We get to meet rotund and possibly special Goldilocks, who’s mother is so desperate to marry her off to anyone she’s forced to sit on lap after lap of the front row audience. From an undisclosed location in the third row, this was hilarious. 

The effect is an intrinsically beautiful show that light-heartedly takes on a range of everyday narratives: forced marriage, spousal abuse, Goldilocks’ first menstruation (yeah! that) and the serious issue of lupine gender dismorphia presented to us deep fried in allegory and filtered through many layered lenses of madness, melodrama and humour. These reimagined nursery rhymes and bedtime fables take a different track from the expected morality yarns and give us a glimpse into why it is, when we grow up, that we start letting the monsters into our beds.

As advertised it was dark and enticing entertaining, dramatic and fully immersive. And all this from a 20 minute extract! Keep your eye out for the name Wind-Up Collective and expect excellent things. 

4/5

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