Review: Water, Filter at Tricycle Theatre

“Water is a sociable molecule, it loves to mingle”

First seen at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2007, Filter and David Farr’s collaborative effort Water has been revived and is playing for a month at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Water pulls together two main stories, the first featuring a pair of half-brothers struggling to deal with the legacy of their deceased father, an early proponent of climate change theory, and their different perceptions of him before and after he accepted corporate money to silence his views, and the second about a young political adviser trying to push through a binding climate change agreement at a major international summit in the face of her own splintering relationship with her deep cave diving boyfriend. And the show really is about these human dramas rather than environmental issues per se, the connection to water that they all have is incidental rather than integral.

Using their trademark style of laying much of the theatrical process bare, the three actors, sound technician and stage team ‘create’ in front of us and with this deceptively simple approach, moments of stark beauty are achieved: the silhouetted squash game and the striking, wordless penultimate scene being two particular standouts. The way in the soundscape is created by everyone in the most varied of manners and then further developed by Tim Phillips is brilliantly executed, finding connections in the most disparate of things. Continue reading “Review: Water, Filter at Tricycle Theatre”

Review: Twelfth Night, Filter at Tricycle Theatre

“Hey, who governs here?”

This is another resuscitation of Filter’s Twelfth Night and its third residency at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Filter recently appeared in London and toured the UK with their version of Three Sisters, not one I was a fan of and the RSC’s most recent Twelfth Night which I really enjoyed, only left the Duke of York’s in February, but I had heard all sorts of good things about this, so I booked myself a ticket.

Things started brilliantly with a random jamming session and then the eventual arrival of the shipwrecked Viola, clutching handfuls of election leaflet, uttering the words at the top of the review, “who governs here”, it was a genuinely very funny moment and set the mood perfectly. The focus is clearly on the inventiveness with which Filter approach this well-known play. Filter are known for their sonic creativity and the stage is littered with instruments and amps, the cast in modern dress, it’s clear this is no traditional Shakespearean production. So many anarchic tricks are employed that it is hard not to love the heart of this show. There’s a deal of audience participation, yours truly was pulled onstage and had balls thrown at him and his Velcro helmet, others were invited to do tequila shots, we’re also invited to sing along and complete lines, a speech is delivered from a mobile phone held up to a microphone, information is provided by radio, there’s a four way battle of sound effects…it’s a whole load of carefully organised chaos and often great fun. Continue reading “Review: Twelfth Night, Filter at Tricycle Theatre”