Review: Babushka

Babushka devised by Andrew Brock, Phoebe Biddulph and cast, at the ADC Theatre, Cambridge
Director: Andrew Brock
Music: Jeff Carpenter
Technical director: Matt Jarvis

The theatrical preference in Cambridge definitely tends towards Classics: Well-known plays by respected authors (sometimes stretching to little-known plays by respected authors), wordy roles and a naturalistic style. Oh, and musicals. Don’t forget the musicals.

What an absolute joy, then, to meet Babushka, a woman who falls in love with a painting her job it is to guard in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Devised by the cast and director Andrew Brock together with writer Phoebe Biddulph, the play was a gale of fresh air on the Cambridge scene, with a live band onstage, engaging multi-roling narrators and a charming use of minimal props and lighting tricks. Funny, touching and at times surreal (I’m thinking of the interpretative dance by the cross-dressing pianist here), I could have happily sat there and watched the whole performance all over again.

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