Soho Theatre Presents… Penny Arcade, Paul Currie and Rhys Nicholson @ Cabaret Arena Review (Latitude Festival)

The Soho Theatre is renowned for championing new writing and comedic talent, with a long list of comedians treading its boards, from Sara Pascoe to Tony Law. This weekend however, Soho Theatre ups sticks and relocates its established as well as its emerging talent from the hustle and bustle of London, to the otherworldly, idyllic and free spirited world of the Latitude Festival.

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The party indeed never stops at Latitude as the forests become alive with theatre, cabaret, laughter and dance. It’s 11:25pm, and the cabaret arena is alive and kicking with eccentricity, boldness and individuality.

Penny Arcade is testament to age only being a number, declaring her age (65 years) and not at all fulfilling the stereotype. She introduces Soho Theatre Presents with a punchy poem, speaking of how the younger generation need to live for the moment. She cites historical figures that have fought for what they believe in, and how we of Generation Y need to hark back to a time where being artistic and broke was worth living for, rather than running the rat race and saving up for a mortgage that may never get paid. Penny Arcade’s rebellious, unapologetic nature serves as a beacon of hope, with the audience clinging onto the importance of authenticity, and knowing who you are.

Next up is Paul Currie, cue 15 minutes of pure fun as he prances about the audience, giving people high fives, challenging an onlooker to an air guitar battle, patting unsuspecting audience members on the head with an extended plastic hand, and somehow encouraging the entire audience to stand up, and pretend that their all riding the magical dragon from Neverending Story… A nonsensical night of immaturity and escapism that begs for audience members to forget about their worries, and to roll along with whatever Currie has in store for you next!

Last but not least is Rhys Nicholson, a young Australian comic who immediately commands the attention of the audience with his sharp sense of style as well as his sharp sense of humour. Nicholson engages the crowd with his anecdotes, with the theme of sexuality driving the evening. From the rich vocabulary used to describe homosexuality, to being mugged and being told it was nothing to do with his sexuality, to behavioural patterns within a male changing room of a gym, his act surely provokes, breaks down barriers and inspires Generation Y to be ourselves and to never have to explain ourselves to anyone. 4/5.

Review written by Lucy Basaba.

Soho Theatre Presents… was shown at the Cabaret Arena on Friday 17th July at this year’s Latitude Festival. For more information on this year’s Latitude line up, visit here…

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