Theatre review: BE Festival, Birmingham Rep – 25/06/16

2016’s festival of cutting-edge European theatre comes to a close – John Kennedy reports back on one of the final evening’s treats, The Vortex Agitator.

Ambitious genre-busting film auteur from Barcelona desperately seeks producer and budget to realise her dream project. Sadly, no takers. Initiate B-movie/SFX alternatives.

How do you turn kitchen-drawer clutter, a skateboard and an electric fan into a live-action damsel-in-distress cliffhanger? Just let Cris Blanco’s barmy-storming rollercoaster ride into multimedia mayhem be your guide. She narrates in Spanish, subtitles are projected.

Blanco’s frantic, fantastic multi-platform, runaway-rollercoaster imaginarium is so deliciously kitchen-junk-drawer-crammed with kitsch cinematic clichés, you really can believe a woman can fly – albeit mostly downwards.

Her Parisian café-noir location defined the 30 minutes of her scatological, idiosyncratic media mash-up. Her existentialist, surreal Star Wars streams of unraveling subconscious frazzled the audience’s minds like a synaptic maelstrom, disparate narrative tangents leaped about like Skippy with Saint Vitus Dance.

For more information on BE Festival, visit


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