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Review Theatre: Brilliant dystopian fable with fat-cat message for our times

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
HOME, Manchester

1927, the creative team behind the extraordinary and internationally acclaimed Golem, have come up with another stunning mixture of theatre, poetry, film, animation and song in this sinister tale.

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets is set in a dystopian world where the outcasts of society, banished to Redherring Street, live in the rotting tenement Bayou Mansion alongside an assortment of misfits — perverts, peeping Toms, gangsters and Wayne the racist.

Life in the Bayou is an endless grind of misery and hopelessness. The putrid, crumbling building is infested with fleas, cockroaches and hundreds of feral children who emerge at night to terrorise the inhabitants of the Bayou.

But, for well-meaning, middle-class Agnes Eaves, all these children need is a good dose of TLC. Armed with dried pasta and some PVA glue she just knows that her art classes are the answer.
Meanwhile Zelda, rebellious daughter of the local crime boss, has had enough. It’s time the kids in Bayou Mansions had a slice of the good life.

Gathering her band of waifs and strays she sets about kidnapping the mayor’s cat. Her demands are simple — better housing, proper education and an X-box. But the mayor has a dastardly plan...

In delivering this show 1927, one of the most original theatre companies around, is blessed with three fabulous actors. Felicity Sparks, Genevieve Dunne and Rowena Lennon, with astonishingly perfect synchronisation, incorporate animation, film and live music into their story of life in a surreal, absurd and mad world.

It’s a wonderful, crazy and comic spectacle but its message is clear. If the rich and selfish fat cats are allowed to to continue to destroy our world, the rest of us will be banished to the Bayou. But the big question on the night is whether the much put-upon, lonely caretaker — a wonderful voiceover from James Addie —  can save the day.

Will there be an idealistic ending or will reality win out? You'll have to go and see this hugely entertaining production to find out which road 1927 takes.

Runs until February 16, box office: homemcr.org, then tours, details: 19-27.co.uk

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