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

Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy Farrett: Lois

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

She Sells Sea Shells

★★★★
Summerhall

A Fortunate Man

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square / Underbelly, Cowgate

The Cat's Mother

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club 3 & 4

Phill Jupitus: Sassy Knack

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Nigel Slater’s Toast

★★★

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.
Donate to Acting For Others now

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

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