Comfort Slaves

Suitability: 16+ (Restriction). That’s the line in the Fringe programme which as an adult you probably don’t pay much attention to, unless you’re taking your children out for the day. In the case of Comfort Slaves it also doesn’t give you much of an idea about what to expect: maybe some swearing, a touch of gratuitous violence and perhaps the inevitable scene of a sexual nature. By the standards of this production that would be show for all the family.

The cast is a highly skilled team of energetic actors; bold, brazen and in your face.

Now let’s try a list for whom this show would be unsuitable on the ground that it might offend or cause distress: anyone who is of a nervous disposition, squeamish, afraid of the dark or acts of violence; any member of the establishment; any member of the establishment who has behaved inappropriately or in an illegal manner with a minor; any celebrity or member of a broadcasting organisation who has behaved inappropriately or in an illegal manner with a minor; rapists; other paedophiles; kidnappers; members of satanic cults or secret societies prone to debauchery, ritual sacrifice (human or otherwise) and the burning of effigies and impoverished parents who go out skipping (excluding the sort involving a rope). I assume that by now you get the picture, although I could go on. Oh yes, and anyone who cannot stand up for an hour.

I include that because it is genuinely the case and it leads me nicely into a story I just have to tell. One aspect of immersive theatre is not being sure which person in the audience will suddenly turn out to be a member of the cast. Some way into the performance I still had my eye on a tall man of solid build who had the presence of someone about to assume a role. Within minutes he crashed to the floor. An actor stared at the lifeless heap and enquired, “What’s he doing down there? Better get him out of here.” Whereupon he and a member of the audience removed him. We waited in vain to see how this event fitted into the storyline. It turned out that he really was a member of the audience who had just fainted. The event didn’t seem out of place and it served to fulfill the company’s assurance that no two performances will be the same.

This production is a new piece from Craig Boyle, the director of last year’s highly acclaimed Trainspotting and Lieutenant of Inishmore. The cast is a highly skilled team of energetic actors; bold, brazen and in your face. Should you not fall into any of the categories listed above and are rather partial to a bit of immersion then you should take on this unabashed, uncompromising and audacious production. In addition to following the action you might also want to try to keep a tally of the number of times swear words beginning with ‘f’ and ‘c’ are used. Fingers and toes will soon cease to be of use. Also, bear in mind that once you are in the room there is no escape; unless, of course, you faint.

Reviews by Richard Beck

Brockley Jack Theatre

every seven years

★★★
Arcola Theatre

The Game of Love and Chance

★★★
Lion & Unicorn

Two Worlds No Family

★★★★
Jermyn Street Theatre

Mr and Mrs Nobody

★★★★
The Space

Helium

★★★
Southwark Playhouse

Exile

★★

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

Our culture and society is becoming, anaesthetised, dumbed down and depressed but we need to wake up. This new piece of cutting edge immersive theatre from Craig Boyle, the director of five-star Fringe 2014 hits Trainspotting and Lieutenant of Inishmore, immerses your senses in the immediate and intimate. Each performance is unique. He wants you to feel something raw and alive. If you want to know what bold and original Fringe theatre is, then this is for you. ***** (ThreeWeeks), 'Highly recommended show' (FringeReview.co.uk, Lieutenant of Inishmore 2014). ***** (BroadwayBaby.com, The Hardman 2013).

Most Popular See More

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Misérables: The Staged Concert

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets