The central aim of
Celebration feels like it’s trying to be three different shows and can’t quite decide which one it wants to be
Students at Warwick University, Kulvichit and Potter-Sweet are certainly intelligent theatre makers but seem more concerned with trying to prove how smart they are rather than focusing on making sure all the disparate segments of Celebration work together. There are some dance sequences that are fabulous fun and properly tap into the childlike joy that Kulvichit and Potter-Sweet seem to be aiming for but then some of the dialogue feels much more like a forced kind of childishness rather than simply felt. Additionally, some of the monologues and games that they play feels slightly tacked on in a homage to companies like Barrel Organ and Secret Theatre rather than feeling like an organic and essential part of the show.
There is one section that was absolutely lovely and reminiscent of childhood and secret hiding places that only children know about. Kulvichit brings a huge, papier-mache dolls house that the two of them crawl into to share stories and images of their ideal world. Funnelling a microphone into their hiding place allows us to hear their secret conversation with amplified intimacy and the effect is heart-warming and nostalgic.
Kulvichit and Potter-Sweet have the seeds of a beautiful and potentially transformative show in their hands but Celebration in its current form feels like it’s trying to be three different shows and can’t quite decide which one it wants to be. I’d love to see it again once they tap back into the childlike wonderment that sparked it in the first place.