Reviews LeicesterNational Published 26 February 2019

Review: Luca Rutherford’s Political Party at Curve Theatre, Leicester

21 February

Working it out: Naomi Obeng reviews Luca Rutherford’s solo show in two parts – a written response, and an audio recording made immediately after the performance.

Naomi Obeng

Luca Rutherford in Luca Rutherford’s Political Party at Leicester Curve. Set design, Bethany Wells; lighting design, Michael Morgan. Photo: Camilla Greenwell.

I’m finding any way to escape politics at the moment. Blame the oscillating needling uncertainty of just how alienated from my home country I will be after March 29th. The infuriating cacophony of argumentative idiocy from, well, most people, as talks lose all trace of ‘important-crucial-edge-of-your-seat’ and remain only an annoying eddy of word-shells devoid of conceptual content.

See. Wasn’t that sentence, just, the worst? I can throw words around too. Doesn’t mean it’s helping anyone. Blame feeling angry, and denying that anger entirely by switching off.

Blame feeling helpless, and denying that helplessness entirely by declaring simply that I am: DONE. Blah. Bleh. Bored. Disengage. Watch Lovesick.

Are you gathering that I maybe can’t be bothered with politics right now?

Luca Rutherford’s Political Party. Maybe I’ll feel better about disengaging with politics. Or learn how to care again. Or have a party. Or enjoy some puns. Anything. I just want to feel again.

There’s a fridge. The door’s open and inviting my eyes. So much (all?) of stage is for show. I never expect it to be real. She reaches in. Tomatoes. Beer. We know it’s real because We sit and sip. And these crisps she offered round before we all sat in this room around this sweet dance floor in front of these blinds (that seem psychic as they display truthful phrases in speech bubbles), laughed and became familiar with each other’s names.

We sit outside and Luca emerges. It hasn’t started yet but maybe it has and I don’t mind not knowing for sure because it feels nice to feel welcome. She offers us crisps. She learns our names. We feel, already, like a We. We clutch our crinkling packets. One of us knocks on the door. The party begins.

The show bleeds out of the space that my conception of a show has traced out over time. Like its inkiness has spread itself out in wisps up tissue paper. It’s started before it’s started. It ends before it’s really over. And then it’s really over, but it isn’t?

Popping balloons. Avoiding the egg smeared among confetti. Pink. Blue. Yellow. Yellow. Pink. I’ve never been to a show where an audience was so collectively and unanimously reluctant to leave. We chat inside as we help clear up. We chat outside. Our attention was so held and we want to focus it longer. The ink softly spreads out into the space that exists after the end. It’s pink and purple and smells like party poppers. We say goodbyes. We are still a We.

Luca performs powerfully, precisely, comedically, generously. Makes us genuinely, really want to dance. Reflecting. Kindness at the centre. Baring uncertainties at the core. This whole experience feels like a pause in order to start again. It feels exactly like what I need right now.

Sharing. Seeing complexities within ourselves. Seeing our modern lives for what they are.

Packed with ideas made crystal clear that could be dizzying in less safe hands.

Being political is added to being a flawed human, shaken up, served as an invitation set to a dance beat.

She delicately unwraps distilled feelings and holds them out for us to peer inside. They look at lot like our own. Maybe we’ve hidden ours away.

How does she know?

The honesty’s infectious.

I think about the everyday performance of existing and about just being.

It’s only when we start lying to ourselves that it gets complicated. When we start being honest that we might start to move forward again.

Sometimes you don’t need a huge conclusion, you stop trying to cram concepts into words or to seem any way other than how you are. You share space, you clear up after the party, and you feel a little more open, and more determined to face the world.

Luca Rutherford’s Political Party was at Leicester Curve on 21 Feburary.


Naomi Obeng

Naomi Obeng is an East Midlands based writer and arts journalist.

Review: Luca Rutherford’s Political Party at Curve Theatre, Leicester Show Info

Directed by Alex Swift

Written by Luca Rutherford

Cast includes Luca Rutherford



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