Squally Showers

This is a show that is sumptuous to look at: the atmospheric lighting, projections of blue skies and clouds, the dancing, the synthetic 80s glamour which pervades the set and costumes. This artificiality also extends to the strangely deliberate acting and it’s easy to spend the first half of the production not really invested in the characters or story, just marvelling at the visual effects.

Set in a TV production company in 1989, Squally Showers gives the audience a glimpse into the lives of those who work there, as they reminisce after an unexpected death. Theirs is a world of shoulder-pads and corporate acronyms (‘NVI’ apparently stands for Non-Violent Intervention - as opposed, you assume, to the violent kind). It’s not necessarily an environment that inspires instant affection and the over-enunciating style of acting makes it even more difficult to warm to. I spent the majority of this show no more than mildly curious about the characters it introduced me to. There are some engaging moments: weather-girl Peggy’s passion for meteorology, expressed through the medium of dance, is a joy to watch and an overhead projector presentation about the Give and Take (G and T - yes, really) involved in a happy relationship is the unusual combination of grating and touching.

However, it’s not until quite near the end, when the emotions have finally risen to the surface, that things really start to get going. The audience is treated to surreal tableaux, demonstrations of love that gently but effectively tug at your insides and a fantastic dance sequence involving a Margaret Thatcher mask. This show is at its best when it expresses itself through dance and costume - while the very final lines of dialogue are surprisingly heartwarming, until then it’s only the visual side of the production that reaches out and grabs you.

You’ll enjoy yourself if you go and see this show. You’ll have a few laughs, a few smiles, it’ll be reasonably good fun. However, apart from the odd surprising or visually spectacular moment, it’s unlikely to make a lasting impression.

Reviews by Hannah Mirsky

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

The Blurb

It's the decade of all or nothing and a magical storm is gathering pace. A fantastical balletic farce of politics, power, loneliness and love. Brought to you by Fringe First and Herald Angel award winners. ‘Insanely brave' (Guardian).

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets