An incisive dark comedic look at a competitive culture which we most of us aren’t even aware we participate in; ‘Gym Party’ forces us to look at ourselves and become slightly more aware of our own actions. Brought to realisation by young theatre group Made In China and its own brand of innovative theatre this show is provocative, evocative and darkly funny. Its three stars –Chris Brett Bailey, Jenna Watt and Jessica Latowicki- each approach their roles-or are they personality extensions?- with commitment and verve.
The premise of this show is to show up our society with its obsession with celebrity culture and one upmanship for what it actually is. Thus puerile games as who can catch the most Skittles in their mouth, or jump the longest long jump or stuff the most marshmallows in their mouth at one sitting reveal that competitive streaks are encouraged in us from an early age. Asking audience members to name a film or a pop song that the one of the trio will then attribute facts to or perform show how obsessed we are with useless facts that really don’t enrich our lives but merely show us up for being obsessive about trivia.
The whole show is conducted as one long competition and throughout we are updated as to who is winning. It is the losers however who have to suffer the indignity of penalisation and it is in this section that no holds are barred. One has personality deficits brought to their-and our- attention whilst another has their corporeal state given a verbal savaging with no body area ignored or spared.
An interesting show which definitely provides food for thought Latowicki and Bailey also had a strong hand in devising and writing the piece alongside Ira Brand- ‘Gym Party’ is well worth checking out if interesting and innovative new theatre is what you are looking for.
Gym Party is on at 6.30 at Summerhall until August 25th