Review: My Name Is, VAULT Festival

Haste Theatre’s My Name Is entertainingly revisits the tale of Anastasia at the VAULT Festival

“Believe me or don’t, what does it matter?”

How many ways are there to tell a story? When it comes to the tale of Anastasia Romanov, there have already been multiple efforts – books, films, musicals, cartoons and thanks to Haste Theatre, there’s a handful more. My Name Is takes a look at the mythos around the woman who claimed to be the Grand Duchess four years after she was assumed murdered along with her family in 1922 and reckons with the gap between fact and fiction.

But as they show a PowerPoint that ostensibly introduces us to how they’re going to tell the story, Chris Yarnell’s production takes a series of increasingly outlandish leaps, shifting the ground beneath us at every turn. From a German experimental theatre company to a physical troupe to an ironically pretentious company called Haste Theatre, it’s a highly original hour of theatre and smart enough to be able to parody each genre, even if they’re possibly slightly easy targets.

Elly Beaman-Brinklow, Valeria Compagnoni, Jesse Dupré and Sophie Taylor are all highly watchable and clearly share an easy chemistry. The show proves fun to watch but there’s a slight sense that it is running out of steam in its latter stages, something exacerbated by an ending which seems to point up a little too clearly how fruitless an enterprise trying to solve such a historical mystery can be. The journey there is worth it though.

Running time: 60 minutes (without interval)
My Name Is is booking at VAULT Festival until 24th February

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