Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments



Amidst the Brexit storm, a Japanese company of 25 performers brought chaos and frenzy to the Pit at the Barbican; nonetheless it was still more predictable and endurable than the political turmoil that was unfolding during the week.

Part of LIFT Festival 2016, the sold out 45-minute show Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker pays tribute to the Japanese subculture – "otagei" (オタ芸) or "wotagei" (ヲタ芸) – the geeky dance routines performed by superfans to their Japanese pop idols.

Founded by Tokyo-based artist Toco Nikaido, the show is neither theatre nor pop concert; though it is certainly a stimulating form of entertainment that enhances the senses.






Before the show, we were warned about the noise level and water guns, and so we were given rain ponchos and ear plugs as our 'protections'. Once inside the theatre, it was interesting to see how the entire space – walls and seats – were all covered in plastic sheets!

Aside from the introduction at the beginning, I can't explain what really went on in the following 40 minutes. I saw the energetic performers danced, sang (in Japanese), jumped, clapped, sprayed water and threw objects at the audience, and ran around urging the audience to join in. It is mad, anarchistic, bewildering, and overwhelming. There is no narrative to the piece, and you are supposed to immerse yourself in the commotion and go with the ride.




As much as I enjoyed the show, I felt that it could have been crazier! Something was lacking for me, and I can't even pinpoint what it is. However, I appreciated the effort of the performers, especially when they lined up in the corridor to greet us individually as we left the theatre.

As I mentioned, the show is not intellectual, it is a show where you can unwind and act silly, so what more can you ask for when the world outside is even more chaotic than inside the theatre?



This post was posted in London, Dance, Music & Sound, Anything Japanese, Theatre & performance art and was tagged with London, dance, music, Japanese art, Barbican, immersive theatre