Vitamin at the Soho Theatre
There aren’t many shows that sell out a run at the Soho Theatre main space simply by word of mouth and with virtually no press or marketing, but this is exactly what Vitamin did in June 2013. Now it’s back for another run and I’m not sure that any words I write will adequately describe it.
On a surface level, Vitamin is a one man show that combines physical clowning, accordion playing, mime and even a spot of improvised ballet. But that is like saying Les Miserables is a show about some unhappy French people.
Carlo Jacucci creates a dream-like world where anything is possible. Somewhere between half logic and an alternative reality, Jacucci fills the stage with whimsy and laughter. His physicality draws the audience out of themselves and into his magical world where nothing makes sense, but it doesn’t necessarily need to. The show itself is broken up into segments of story-telling with an accordion, story – telling in a foreign language, a snail puppet made out of Jacucci’s own head and a beautiful ballet with a pair of ladies tights (yes… you read that correctly. Tights).
The lack of clear narrative can be a little confusing at times and audience members who aren’t able to go with the flow may think the show borderlines into the style of mad performance art that their old art tutors warned them about. Leaving the auditorium I could overhear a couple of people question what the show was about and whether they ‘were being just a bit thick’, which isn’t always the nicest feeling in the world. But for those of you willing to go on a journey into Carlo Jacucci’s world, you will leave the theatre thinking, ‘I don’t know what that was, but I’m smiling from ear to ear.’ The loveliest moments are when Jacucci goes slightly off script to react to the audience’s hooting laughter and collective sighs, as his improvisational skills keep everyone on their toes.
Vitamin is genuinely one of the strangest shows I have ever seen…and I loved every minute of it.
Reviewed by Roz Carter
Vitamin is playing at the Soho Theatre until 12 July. Click here for more information and to book tickets.