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The Late Great Andrew Tate - Sailing With Styx (Summer Nights)

Reviewed by Rachel Doulton

 

The 2020s will be remembered for the culture war with talks of toxic masculinity and woke 'feminazis' being at the forefront of most conversation. But what will be the result in 100 years? The Late Great Andre Tate presented by Sailing with Styx in conjunction with The Blue Room Summer Nights Festival is a hypothesis on what would happen if we were to mythologise the figureheads of this culture war we’re currently in.


Sailing with Styx is a fresh new theatre company whose mission is to create work that exposes the reality in myth and the myth in reality. This show does exactly that by satirising one of the most controversial figures of the 2020s with a mix of religious satire and verbatim theatre.


We are led into the Kaos Room at The Blue Room Theatre to the sound of dissonant plainchant composed by the show’s writer Leisl Lucerne-Knight and see a set that opens with cave walls before we’re launched into a sermon led by a Tate emulation leading a congregation of cave dwellers. The story unfolds as one alpha, played by James Madison desires to see the world above the surface which leads to a struggle between “Fuck, Fight, Feast” and “Live, Laugh, Love” of two conflicting societies set a hundred years in the future.


The ensemble of six worked well together donning the caps (some of the bald) of many characters from the naive and petulant misogynists; to self-righteous and judgemental feminists; to rebels who wish for balance and freedom of self-expression. Each member was entertaining and given their moment but I could not help but fall a little bit in love with Nicholas Allen’s portrayal of She-der - the tyrannical matriarch of the surface society. The irony was not lost on me that a man should be trying to convey the historic suffering of women under patriarchy in a cheap wig in white linen reminiscent of a male “comedian” impersonating the “droll” women in his life.


The set and costumes value gave the impression of scrambled together student production which only added to its quirky charm. It must be noted, however, that the cramped nature of the venue does not leave much room for anything more and Gus O’Keefe did well to execute the set design as best as possible.


If you wanted to catch this one during Summer Nights, unfortunately, you’ve lucked out, the season sold out before it had even opened. A testament to the audience’s thirst for social commentary.


Promotional Image provided by theatre company

Reviewer Note: Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.

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