The  Alchemystorium
  • By Tom King
  • |
  • 20th Aug 2011
  • |
  • ★★★★★

I feel a little drained after seeing this show but in the best possible way. Because it’s very rare for a show to have you howling with laughter and then in tears within the space of five minutes. But this show does it, without a single piece of speech.The Alchemystorium is magical from the very first moment when the trolley-sized box on stage unfolds into a huge, stage-spanning set complete with three very talented physical performers. The title, it turns out, refers to a coffee shop of sorts where the staff of three caters to the audience, making them a brew and snapping their picture to go with it. At first, the show is just this physical clowning and this in itself is very impressive. The cast are such talented comedians that every movement raises a giggle or, in the case of the boy next to me, keeps the audience in hysterics for minutes at a time.Soon though, two of the characters start falling for each other, leaving the odd one out a lonely third wheel. What follows is a beautiful, delicate story of love found and love lost, packed with delightful little moments. The nervous couple, unsure of how to woo each other, act out the entire performance through a couple of hempen puppets before repeating the story themselves. The lone character remembers the man she loved and never saw again. And when the pain gets too much she leaves to find him. Every one of these moments is invested with a delicate, sweet simplicity. And every so often, the goonish expression on one of the clowns’ faces falls away to show the joy inside.This is a lovely little piece of theatre. For those of us feeling the loneliness of singledom, it offers hope of new love. For those recently coupled up, it celebrates this happiness. For those who are in love for the long run, it reminds them of the joy and peace that finding that special someone brings. It reminds us that no matter how far we go, we always come home and, no matter how long we’re apart, the ones we love will always find us again.What Gomito Theatre have created with The Alchemystorium is truly extraordinary. This is a beautiful, perfect gem of a show. Compulsory viewing for anyone who’s ever loved or lost.

Reviews by Tom King

Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Famous Puppet Death Scenes

★★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Jess Robinson: No Filter

★★★★

The Blurb

The Alchemystorium Cafe dispenses warming brews of a supernatural nature. Using wordless physical comedy and striking visuals, Fringe favourites Gomito tell a story of love through the eyes of three characters who have never tasted it. www.gomito.co.uk