Director/Designer Amelia Bird
Reviewer: Helen Jones
The Public Reviews Rating:
The Alchemystorium Cafe serves coffee with a touch of the supernatural…But this is coffee which comes with romance, comedy and just a little magic. The cafe is run by three companions. The leader attempts to keep the other two under control as they have a constant if gentle rivalry.
There aren’t any words in the Alchemystorium Cafe, all communication is done through mime and the most expressive of sounds. But there is no misunderstanding as everything is performed with such clarity that the show simply doesn’t need words.
Coffee is ordered, made with a strange process involving magic and served with great style. The performers then present the coffee to an audience member and promptly try to find them romance with another member of the audience. This is all done with such grace and humour from the evocative miming through to the photographs of the prospective partners that even the people targeted can only find the humour in it.
The performers use physical comedy, visuals, basic props and puppets to bring the story to life. The two antagonistic assistants cause mayhem one evening and in despair the third member demands that they put their differences aside and become friends. But things backfire as they start a romance instead, leaving the third member left out and living with her memories of the one she loves. Finally she is driven away and the others break their romance in an attempt to get her to stay. She does return and there is, much to my relief, a happy ending.
The three performers, Katie Cooper, Lizzie Franks and Sam Worboys work together as a perfect team. All three are excellent at the physical work and also at producing the expressive tones. Sam Worboys is also very clever at the slight of hand which adds brilliantly to the entire show. But the show would be much less without the amazing music choices which make the soundtrack to some of the events. The music creates the emotional situations yet still allows the performers to shine.
Director/ designer Amelia Bird has worked with her cast to create a beautiful deceptively simple show. A moveable opening box becomes the cafe, bedrooms and base for puppetry using only the most basic props but this inventive base only enhances the sheer brilliance of the show.
Unfortunately Gomito Productions only did one show at the Lowry, but watch out because if they return then this is a show that is well worth seeing.