REVIEW: ATTRACTION: THE BOX (London Palladium)
A tale as old as time – lovers finding one another, hearts breaking and mending, marriage and children, but none of these without obstacles. The three generations of “The Box” are united by a chest full of love, holding the family’s past, future and hope.
Britain’s Got Talent Winners Attraction (formed by Hungarian artist and choreographer Zoltan Szucs) put on their first full length show at the London Palladium as a one off spectacle that combines video mapping, black light, dance and shadow plays to a stunning sensory experience.
The story about love, war and loss is deliberately kept simple and generic, but told with heightened emotions, making full use of your standard range of moving music (such as Céline Dion). Sometimes the plot seems a bit convoluted with ‘emotional’ content especially since most of the emotions are second-hand, provoked by borrowed sentiment from impactful topics and music. Yet – Attraction succeed in making the spectator feel, and action sequences make it all the more worthwhile. At times, the narrative may appear trite, but action and visual spectacle keep up the pace. The only thing a little disconcerting about the storyline is the implication that the girlfriend being kidnapped by a bunch of gangsters is the kind of normal relationship issue every couple has to deal with.
But enough of that – after all, you wouldn’t go see this show for its narrative. And the visual highlights of the show are true highlights. The immensely talented group Attraction put on wonderful, surreal abstract dancing dream sequences with blacklight, and include a fantastic and hilarious break through the 4th wall. It is astonishing how quickly and smoothly the artists roll into the respective shapes, and even manage to create images such as wax slowly rolling off a candle. The performers have to be applauded for their skill of seamlessly changing the “environmental” shapes surrounding the main actors. Moreover, how wonderful to have a performance that makes the audience gasp “but how?” with its visual trickery. Plays with perspectives were funny and powerful, chase scenes and vertigo-inducing video mapping baffling. The constant change of styles and the mix between on-stage and “behind the stage” shadow acting made it a refreshing experience.
“The Box” is truly something different!
Reviewed by Lisa Theresa Downey-Dent