KadCats, St Bartholomew’S Chruch (Outland Road), 21st – 22nd June
All Clear! is set in Devonport during the Blitz. It opened with the cast surrounding the audience and going about their everyday business. This was a wonderful way to immerse the audience into wartime Plymouth and demonstrate the ways in which life would have been interrupted by Air Raids. The rest of the performance was set in an underground Air Raid shelter.
Throughout the performance we met a range of different characters, presenting people from different backgrounds coming together in one small space.
Young Dennis played by Max cheered the audience with his rendition of ‘I’ve Got No Strings’, during which he demonstrated his excellent tap dancing skills and won over the audience with his charming smile.
In contrast with this light-hearted song, Maggie played by Cindy Callender recited ‘It’s Nothing To Do With You’. Her rhythm and stage presence stunned the audience into considered silence – a thought provoking and beautiful moment.
Sadly, the script the group were working with seemed to hinder the telling of the story with a loss of direction, and arguments seemingly arising from nothing. During the moments where the performers were able to show their community spirit the cast came together to give a glimpse of what it could have been like in a Devonport Air Raid Shelter.
The storytelling did feature a clever device that certainly made the audience chuckle. Pauline Mansfield played the voice of the radio announcer who interacted with the characters in some amusing moments.
I would like to advise anyone who is attending a performance of All Clear! that there are flashing lights, air raid sirens, and moments that some may consider historically insensitive.