zazU

At the opening of the show, we are invited to "follow the bee" and head to the bizarre land of zazU - a futuristic dreamworld where singing is outlawed and, when someone dies, the lead mourner wears all their hats. The sketches feature various citizens of zazU, all with their own twists and quirks and each one being greeted by the bee with a friendly, "GaMu!". Then, regretfully, we head home when our five-day visa runs out.

Bonus points for trying something new with this themed, slightly anachronistic voyage through a truly bizarre world. It's a funny, enjoyable and very surreal show.

The characters are bizarre and unpredictable although sometimes quite similar to each other. The humour is based on the juxtaposition between 'normal' people and the oddness of the citizens of zazU. It's funny because of how awkward they are, emphasising the bizarre world that they live in, but it does mean that sketches tend to peter out rather than end decisively. We chuckled all the way through but there were few laugh out loud moments.

The recurring characters and motifs were really satisfying for us and received the largest laughs. Indeed, when the sketches start intertwining towards the end it gets more enjoyable and draws us into the world much more. Perhaps we'd have a more complete understanding of this peculiar world if they could start blending and overlapping earlier.

Saying that, there were some hilarious moments. Annanouska, the over-earnest penpal, was brilliant, as were the hilariously blasé Australian shop assistants. Isla, the manhater with terrible social skills, was the audience's favourite, with a round of applause as she left the stage. Harriet Hayes and Maddie Rice stand out for their contrasting characters and extraordinary facial expressions.

zazU have been together and exploring their own, kooky world for eighteen months and definitely win bonus points for trying something new with this themed, slightly anachronistic voyage through a truly bizarre world. It's a funny, enjoyable and very surreal show.

Reviews by Cara Ballingall

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

zazU: the parallel universe sketch show. Created in 1857 by Tim zazU, it's a whole world with a tiny village mentality. You can only get to it by following a bee through a portal in one particular map kept in a secret Swiss vault… or by coming to see this show. New rules, new customs and a very new fashion sense. A show brought to you by Men with Fringes, featuring mythical molicorns and with a special guest appearance from humstar superstar glöcK. ‘Surreal, anarchic and smart’ (Live Theatre). ‘Very funny’ (Josie Lawrence). ‘I like Ian’ (Huffington Post).

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