Lord Stanley 2011

First Love****

                       More Fun the Second Time          

If Pinter and Becket are not enough, add a helping of Sobchak, a dash of improvisation, and even a flavour of Gorky, and this most enterprising of companies offers up a Smorgasbord of theatrical flavours. Affecting to be surprised at the result, director, playwright and master of experimental theatre, Victor Sobchak, looks at you with the sort of bemused innocence he must have employed when Brezhnev’s KGB escorted him to his Siberian ‘residence’ for being an artistic revolutionary.

The intellectual and artistic giants Pinter and Becket, so enamoured of each other’s work, gave the world characters articulating, in Becket’s case, the unexplainable human condition, Pinter’s ‘Comedy of Menace’ famously exploring domination and submission, both defining the ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ in their own ways. With tongue in cheek, and more than a little chutzpah, Sobchak is not afraid to give us his take on the work of heroes.

And here they all are. As you might expect, with the writers on show, it is not necessary to describe in any detail the events. Would it actually help? More it is for the spectator to revel in both the tantalising material, and this Theatre Collection Company’s powerfully atmospheric delivery of an all too seldom seen theatrical style and content.

With uniformly top quality performances from Jolyon Westhorpe. Isla Johns, Yannis Alexiou, Luca Pusceddu, Cradeaux Alexander, Sophia Sinclair, and Siane Medoes, this engrossing piece was like discovering the greats afresh, and it brought a continuous smile of gratitude for an escorted walk down a well trodden path and making it seem new and unexplored.

A gem. Catch it while you can.

Saul Reichlin


Edinburgh Fringe Festival

London 1993

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Venue The Zoo Venue (Venue 124)
Address Kirk O'Field Parish Church, 140 The Pleasance
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat

One of Act Provocateur International's three offerings to this year's Fringe is an intriguing tale of love and loss by Victor Sobchak (who also scripted The Witch), inspired by Beckett. And a true little gem it is indeed. A young tramp meets a prostitute and from a chance meeting first love is born. But can its purity survive the cruelty and perversity of the world around them?

First Love is a show that perfectly blends technical simplicity with first-rate acting, and its poignant imagery will leave you reeling and crying for more. Smell, touch and taste are at its very core - it explores all human senses and emotions through intense relationship between its protagonists. Though well scripted, the production is at its strongest when it abandons dialogue and allows movement and images to speak for themselves. This show is a must see, a true treat of physical theatre at its best and most genuine. It contains some nudity, so leave your kids at home.

London / Prague 2007


First Love