Hayfever (2023), theSpace @Venue45, Review

The cast circle random plots with a dark blue glowing background, surrounded by a mess of objects.
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Emerge Production House
Eleonor Schumann (Writer); Roxane Cabassut (Director);
Emerge Production House
Running time

Described as an interactive dark comedy, Hayfever uses audience decisions to change or implement actions within the production. It is a bold and inventive move which unfortunately does not quite work. The overall storyline is not strong enough to be a spine for going off on tangents. There is a great deal going on at any one moment which makes it confusing to follow what is actually the key point at that time. The basic premise that there is a live piece of performance going on which can then be changed by a decision from those around them, is a brave choice but, while the actors adapt very quickly, this does not make the storyline any easier to follow.

The actors work hard and the audience do try to get involved, using the ‘Yes’ ‘No’ voting cards, making suggestions and interacting when they can. What feels to be the biggest problem with the show is the text. It needs to be clear, and it needs to make the audience feel that their choices make a real difference, that there is a point to be made when a specific choice happens, that choices made currently in the real world are impacting it (a message within that does not come through clearly).

With some text revision and clearer through-lines, then this show may work in the way in which it is intended, but as yet it is limited, even with all the hard work from the actors and production team.

Show Time: 15-26 August (not 20) @ 15:55

Ticket Prices: £10-£13


Accessible entry: Up a ramp into the building then level access into the theatre; Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible; Age: 8+