Celebration

The central aim of Celebration is “to give anyone who can't quite believe the world they live in something to believe in” which is a brilliant intention and starting point but it often feels that creators, Ben Kulvichit and Clara Potter-Sweet, got overexcited with ideas in trying to bring this idea to fruition. There are some moments of pure joy but they’re generally lost in a series of sketches that never quite cohere into something greater than themselves.

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.

Reviews by Liam Rees

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Performances

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The Blurb

The past year's been a bit rough, hasn't it? At times, it's felt like the world has been slowly unravelling, a ball of string hurtling down a hill in painful slow motion, all of us clutching the frayed end of the roll as if that were helping. The future is murky and uncertain. But we say: sod that. Let's make joy! Let's feel our way into the future with blind and trusting hands. Part theatre, part dance party, part funeral, Celebration aims to give anyone who can't quite believe the world they live in something to believe in.

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