Photo by Rah Petherbridge Photography. Perhaps Contraption 9-piece brass band pictured
Full disclosure, I was very excited to be invited to review this show, as I’ve been a long time fan of Perhaps Contraption, and this is their first official foray into the world of theatre. I was so curious to see what they would do. A nine-piece brass brand creating a show about science, the universe and humans, isn’t something you get to see every day. Although, given how therapeutic I found the whole experience, maybe it is something I should try to incorporate into my daily ritual. When can I buy the soundtrack? I need it for medicinal purposes.
OK, so you can probably tell that this is going to be a glowing review. I adored this show, it is gig theatre at its magical best. The energy, the originality, the set, the lighting, the music, the choreography… all spot on. The original songs all build together to tell the story of our universe. We are reminded that we are made of stardust, and of the glorious chaos that we emerged from. A chaos where extinction is the norm. We’re reminded that we’re tiny but amazing, that we exist in the now, but that our continued long term existence is unlikely. Do we want to exist to see our sun die? There is a wonderful catharsis in our mortality, both individually and as a species.
Perhaps Contraption have created a wonderful symphony to the miracle of life. They are master musicians who transport us through this beautiful soundtrack. There are echoes of Spiritualized’s ‘Ladies & Gentlemen we are floating in space’, in the gorgeous track ‘Bloodhound’. While some of the tracks lull us through our story of creation, others explode with a riot of confusion and sound. Each musician brings a personality to the piece, they are a group but they are also independent performers who add their own specific charm to the show.
It is such an extraordinary and cathartic experience. For those of you flirting at the edges of your own existential crises, I recommend a dose of ‘Nearly Human’ by Perhaps Contraption. It explodes into glorious life every evening at 7.30pm at the Vault Festival until 23rd February. As an added bonus, tonight (21st Feb) at 10.30pm Perhaps Contraption are hosting a Vault Festival Lates session called ‘Beautiful Cosmos’ which fuses music and science. They literally have an astro-physicist as part of the line-up. What is not to love?