Alex in Shadow

Alex In Shadow from UCLU Runaground proves that puppetry is not just for children. Even adults can enjoy the strange adventure of pretentious and self-serving Alex (played by one male and three female actors), who wakes up in a mysterious woodland full of talking animals. This strange array of creatures, including a two-headed tortoise and a locust with a talk show, force Alex to confront the person they used to be and the person they have become. Though lacking in its conclusion, Alex In Shadow is a feel-good show full of clever puppetry and quirky humour.

This wonderfully ridiculous and absurd show is perfect for those seeking light-relief from some of the heavier drama at the festival.

The script to this show doesn’t run particularly deep. Alex’s opening monologue establishes them clearly as unpleasant and distasteful as they contemplates ‘the stagnation of human existence.’ Though the final of scene of the show implies that some kind of realisation has taken place in them, there is little by means of a conclusion to confirm that their journey has been of meaning. Without much to compare the introduction with, we end up with an incomplete character arc. Despite this, a wild and magical adventure is created, whereby we never quite know what is going to happen next, or who is going to turn up. Changing the actor who played Alex in every scene innovatively builds on the sense of delving into the unknown.

The real strengths of the show, however, lie in its staging. A live guitarist perched next to the action evokes an edgy and authentic feel to the piece, even before discordance and scratching enters into the music. The shadow puppetry used to create the fantasy world is absolutely intriguing. The puppets themselves are fragile and delicate, showing true skill and creativity from the group. There didn’t appear to be any clumsiness or errors during the performance, even with so much going on at once behind the white screens. Everything was choreographed to a tee.

This wonderfully ridiculous and absurd show is perfect for those seeking light-relief from some of the heavier drama at the festival. As a bit of fun, it really works.

Reviews by Carla van der Sluijs

Barons Court Theatre

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons by Sam Steiner

★★★★
Camden People\'s Theatre

See-Through

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

It Is a Truth...

★★★★
Natural Food Kafe

Losing My Mindfulness

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Lines

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

Job-Cher

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Alex is at an impasse in life, trying desperately to figure out the world and make their own path. They find themself transported to a strange and surreal world where the challenges and joys of a 21-year-olds life manifest themselves as fantastical monsters and creatures brought to life with a spectacle of shadows and immersive visuals. Alex is in constant pursuit of the elusive dragonfly, an unattainable and beautiful creature that they can never quite catch up with. A poignant coming-of-age tale with a twist, Alex struggles to find their way through their own head.

Most Popular See More

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets