Every time I recall this show, the nightmares return. See it. Seriously, see it. I don’t want to be alone in my horror any more. Was it any good? I have no idea! Just see it. Three figures congregate in a dark house and perform demonic rituals: to what end? I have no idea! Just see it. It strikes me that the performance of these rituals is the be-all and end-all of the production and I have to say it is incredibly compelling. Mysterious, hypnotic, surreal, I couldn’t conceive of the words to describe Tourniquet 2013 and had to ask my colleague to come up with them: it’s like being skull-screwed by an enigma.

Delivered sans dialogue, accompanied by a throbbing, trance-inducing soundtrack, the show felt as if it was putting some dark spell on me. As much as I may have wanted to look away, it was physically impossible. Strangely beautiful yet utterly harrowing, the images - for better or for worse - shall be burnt into my mind forever. Never have I felt so voyeuristic: the characters perform their rituals like clockwork - they are clearly experts - but what we can learn stops there. Who are they? What are they doing? Why are they doing this? Oh God, why? I had the distinct sensation that I should not have been privy to the events of that night.

That said, there is the odd occasion where the bizarre scenes begin to verge on the ridiculous: the rare smattering of giggles was not always as a result of the deliberate dark humour. Alienation can be a double-edged sword - voyeuristic one moment, faintly ridiculous the next. Such moments were fleeting, however, and quickly forgotten as the next horrific onslaught brutally assaulted my senses.

I left shaken and disturbed. I certainly didn’t enjoy myself but that wasn’t really the point. All I can say is that this is an ‘experience’ and that you should book tickets right now. Then hug me. Please.

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.
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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.
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Performances

The Blurb

Hailed as one of the year’s best performances. A visually enchanting work by acclaimed Belgian company Abattoir Fermé. Eerily beautiful, visually stunning and shocking to some, Tourniquet is the theatrical, speechless counterpart of The Exorcist or David Lynch.

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