Shop Front Theatre, Coventry


Some theatre lasts and some does not, for much like a Saturday night film, it can be forgotten very fast.

Shop Front Theatre provides lasting nourishment that endures for days and days. Sphere is the ninth and final piece in their ‘Are we where we are’ series and the most adventurous since seven artists are involved, all of world-beating pedigree.

Cabaret darkness heralds a seven-course feast of an evening from Theatre Absolute with Amy Kakoura’s fabulous – literally – songs and beautiful voice; Laura Nyahuye’s wisdom of ages and the ‘survival kit’ we provide for the children we love; Raef Boylan’s poetic comparison of homeless Sarah and out-of-his-depth Liam with the shuffling pigeons of our city’s streets.


 Then there is Demi Oyediran’s imaginative mindfulness of frogs that led us blindly on a fairy tale subterranean journey; Kimisha Lewis’ topical and moving conversation with knife-wielding avenging angel; Ash James Brown’s amazing images and plea that AI supports humans acting more humanely, finally Ola Aminashawun’s plea for a respectful and collaborative ‘Kindfulness’ movement where ‘we’ replaces ‘I’ in every conversation. This is strong and moving stuff.

I only have one criticism and that is that many of the pieces were so rich that they might have been supported by a written copy or, better still, something to take away and re-read to reveal and consider their depths.

There was so little time to absorb the richness of ideas from one when we were plunged into the next and left reeling. I would love to be able to re-read and consider at length because, like other pieces in this wonderful series, the effects are lasting to the degree that, if our culture might consider keeping a cupboard in the British Library or Museum for ‘Great Art’ some of them belong there at the very top.

Next in the Shop Front there is 21st November 7.30pm Fugue in a Minor Key by Richard Walls. I’m the one in the front row. See you there. To 10-11-18.

Jane Howard


Shop Front Theatre

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