The latest production by Embolon Theatre,
Whilst the concept of All In is superb, the execution perhaps needs a little fine-tuning
The show is so packed with unexpected twists and revelations, that I will have to be vague on the content of the show itself. As we are entering the auditorium we are met by Alex Mackeith, the charming host for the evening, who shakes everyones hand and thanks them for coming, immediately encouraging us in the audience to feel like an active member of Embolon Theatre ourselves. Mackeith has such a genuine, friendly energy as he compères a series of games, casually improvising with the audience in a way that we can’t help but warm to him immediately.
Throughout the show, we witness a series of games on stage with audience members, such as a game where the audience member who manages to keep their eyes closed for the longest, throughout a series of funny, and often bizarre distractions, wins £20. As we progress, the games become more elaborate, and the stakes become higher as an audience member is offered £100 to win the game. The games themselves, whilst engaging and enjoyable, are all leading up to a series of plot twists, that in the end leave the majority of the audience utterly confused as we try to figure out what on earth is going on.
Whilst the concept of All In is superb, the execution perhaps needs a little fine-tuning. There are some moments that fall a little flat, such as the sudden appearance of an enormous, talking hog, in a section that really pushes the show’s absurdity to its limits. There’s also a few moments when the pace drops slightly, but these small issues will easily be ironed out through rehearsal and tweaking.
With All In, Embolon Theatre have happened upon something ground-breaking, and truly unique - a totally unconventional, yet bold and engaging way to make theatre. With more twists than a Christopher Nolan film, All In has that rare, exciting quality of being able to make you believe something, then make you change your mind countless times. It’s a show you’ll be talking about for days after its finished, and that you’ll be desperate to see again.