Barrel Organ’s new show
A seriously clever piece of theatre, intelligently opting to tackle debt and grief in a more roundabout and indirect way rather than as a piece of on-the-nose political theatre.
It starts off as a road trip, with two young women (Bryony Davies and Rosie Gray) playing a game of ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill’. The fact that they are genuinely playing the game and reacting adds brilliant element of spontaneity to their performances whilst also providing some much-needed lightness to some dark and heavy themes of debt and grief. It’s a technique that’s used more subtly and sparingly than in their previous work, which makes sense thematically and dramaturgically but there was a part of me that wanted to see more of these two women’s friendship as Davies and Gray are such watchable performers.
It then veers off into more Twilight Zone-esque territory as Davies visits her childhood home from which she was evicted when her family couldn’t keep up with mortgage repayments and the piece turns into a political, haunted house story. Davies is encountered by ghosts from her past and monsters under the floorboards as she tries to exhume a terrible secret from the past. Two strips of LED lights and a suitably creepy sound design transport us into the house, a liminal stage where past and present, reality and fiction all start to look very similar.
Anyone’s Guess is a seriously clever piece of theatre, intelligently opting to tackle debt and grief in a more roundabout and indirect way rather than as a piece of on-the-nose political theatre. At times it feels like the company is still finding its voice with the piece, but this is perhaps to be expected as it’s been created by a different writer (Jack Perkins) and directors (Joe Boylan and Dan Hutton), and if anything, this has made me more excited to see where the company will end up next.