views from the gods

saints and sinners of the stage and screen

Whether you normally look down from the cheap seats in the gods, or sit up close in the front row, there's so much happening on the London performing arts scene and comedy circuit, it can be difficult to decide which shows you should spend your cash on and which shows should quite frankly, pay you for turning up.

At Views from the Gods, we review all the latest London talent, from West End plays to emerging comedians. We hope our site helps introduce you to some new performers.

Latest review:

When it comes to contenders for the best worst date ever, dragging a near stranger along to a show called Sex and Puppets by a company called Wondering Hands has got to be right up there. Who does that? Well, me, obviously, in what probably counts as a first of some kind. Over the course of 50 minutes, puppeteers Alicia Britt, Dan Walker, Eti Meacock and Kate Powell tell a number of stories about other first experiences, ranging from the chastely innocent to downright disturbing using sock puppets, marionettes, even floating bits of gauze. It seems as if designer Britt has purposefully used puppets made from as many different colours, textures, shapes and sizes to demonstrate that this a show that should belong to absolutely everyone, whether mainstream or minority. Sebastian Freeburn's chosen music is tongue-in-cheek and fitting, including all the classics you would expect. It's clear the company are having a lot of fun with Sex and Puppets - and why not?

Whilst the show does deliver what its title promises in spades, there's no clear narrative arc or set of defined voices and that makes it difficult to initially buy into it. There's a certain charm to the puppeteers' enthusiasm, however engaging fully with the audience from the very beginning would make more of an impact. The company have devised Sex and Puppets based on anonymous submissions (contributing to the lack of coherency) and intend for each scene to be very much a pick and mix selection to be adapted for each stop on their tour. Although this demonstrates a huge amount of ambition, a through line or even just a recurring puppet would fix most of the teething problems with the work-in-progress. Better signposting too would help - it takes a while to understand the piece's true intent of education, which is a shame, given how noble it is.

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