A triumph of style over substance, the bright and flashy Omega from blackSKYwhite offers an awful lot of bark with little in the way of bite. Described as ‘a hoochie coochie carnival for the end of time’ - whatever this phrase may mean, it is certainly not apparent by the end of the show - the overall effect could be summed up by performers in elaborate costumes flapping about in jitters. We are presented with a sideshow of freaks, each with their own special talent. I say talent, I mean flapping about in jitters. A two-headed singer, smoking clowns, a face-stabbing conductor: all expert flappers.

Once the novelty wears off, flapping is all that remains. All aspects of the design are stunning: lighting, sound, set - a real feast for the senses. It does nothing, however, to draw you in; in theory terrifying and exhilarating, in execution bemusing and bland. A ringmaster proffers backstories in between each act but deafening speaker volume coupled with multiple layers of distortion and echo made it all but impossible to understand nine out of every ten words. Consequently there was no way to engage on any level deeper than aesthetic appreciation - interwoven with mild confusion - and any emotional impact that the acts may have had was lost.

On a purely aesthetic level, however, the acts were occasionally rather perturbing. Highlights included a very long, slender-limbed man and someone in a cage. I couldn’t really tell you what they were doing as I’m not entirely sure myself. Jerking about, mainly. Nevertheless it was incredibly compelling to watch. There is only so much of this that one can stand, though, and the acts - even the good ones - swiftly became boring.

From the approximately thirty-two words I caught, it seems that there was an important message about life near the end, or something like that. It honestly could have been anything. I would feel wrong speculating as to the meaning of the production because I have absolutely nothing to go on. Go only if you need advice on how not to dance at parties.

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 £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

Omega. A hoochie-coochie carnival for the end of time. Fringe First and Total Theatre Award winners blackSKYwhite return with a bold, terrifying and thrilling array of freaks, monsters, mirrors and curios to unsettle, unnerve and exhilarate in equal measure.

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