Richard Soames has chosen the perfect venue for this technically proficient show in which he and the audience will quite literally ‘Make a Movie‘. At less ‘hermetically sealed’ (his words) venues the requisite collegiate atmosphere may prove hard to obtain and the audience participation threaten to derail the good fun, but in the secluded confines of Buttercup there is eager anticipation.
The pleasant and polite auteur explains his relationship with film-making via an assortment of clips documenting his oeuvre. This includes action inspired japes with his brother and stop motion experiments with toys. He inserts seminal movie moments (Frodo and Sam farewell, Lando betrayal) to outline some of the areas of film-making that we will explore and you sense that some of the audience are being educated in the basics of film-making.
The only real issue lies with the strict adherence to the ‘making a movie’ structure which whilst entertaining never allows for the crafting of stellar gags. Moreover whilst teetering on the edge of spoiler it is valid to highlight that the climax hinges on the audience caring about Soames’ backstory and revisiting his personal biography but crucially is in no way humorous or intended to be so.
There are many comdians using tech to structure their material, or in some cases as a crutch to get through the set, but Soames is one of the few truly maximising the usage of video to add dimension and warmth to the premise. It is just a shame that there were too few gags and too much sentiment.
‘Wonderfully interactive’ is the quote offered up by the designated audience critic of tonight’s performance during which Soames will use the crowd to obtain sound effects, reactions and even line readings. The above appraisal perfectly encapsulates the experience of spending time with him and his undeniable affection for the medium.