CONSPIRACY

You are watching three actors sat at a table. Their names are Rose Wardlaw, Azan Ahmed, and Shannon Hayes, or at least that’s what they say. There is a thick beige curtain and a smaller curtain directly behind them. What are they hiding? What’s behind the curtain? We need to know! They’re obsessed with a photo. I won’t tell you which one, but you’ve probably seen it before (it is everywhere!). Every detailed observation leads to a conspiracy which goes right up to the top! You know who I’m talking about…

What’s behind the curtain? We need to know!

Joshua Pharo’s flickering lighting design and Kieran Lucas’ sound design ramp up the air of intrigue, as if we can’t quite believe what we’re experiencing – is it some alien or government interference? Jack Perkins has written some snappy dialogue which spirals into increasingly incredulous complexity, yet with each revelation the energy seems to stagnate – each shock yielding diminishing returns. It’s as if they become stuck in the web of intrigue they weave for themselves.

Perhaps all this dialogue is a red herring to keep us distracted from the truth. The beige curtain remains closed. What’s behind the curtain? Some plot twist? Some experiment in form? Something which will make us re-evaluate everything? There must be something that will blow the show itself wide open.

I loved Barrel Organ’s previous work. I’m looking for the thing that made them so distinctive, but the liveness and layers of meaning are not there. No, it must be! I want to believe. I want there to be more. This can’t be it! Can it?

Reviews by Liam Rees

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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.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Princess Diana never landed on the moon. Elvis lives in Area 51. JFK did 9/11. 60% of Brits believe in at least one conspiracy theory. And not all of them are wearing tinfoil hats. Multi award-winning Barrel Organ returns with a larger-than-life, cartoonish show about conspiracy theories, fake news and an epidemic of mistrust. Conspiracy tells the stories of people brought crashing together – to find the truth, to exploit hysteria and to fight the rising tide. Barrel Organ's work includes: Anyone's Guess How We Got Here, Some People Talk About Violence and Nothing. Untapped Award 2019.

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