There are some shows in which the character goes on a journey. Then there are shows like Power Ballad, where the audience themselves are the ones embarking on that process of change.
The initial moments of Power Ballad were animalistic, absurd and endearingly awkward.
By the end of the performance, all these qualities remained, however the audience had become participants in the theatrical madness.
We left the room like comrades who had shared a communal experience, which we may never find words to articulate, at least in the ways we desperately wanted to.
Advertised as an “angry, feminist, live art investigation of language”, I walked into the Blue Room Theatre expecting a familiar narrative depicted through a new medium. I was wrong.
I would describe the trajectory of this show as a collection of feelings rather than a clear plot. Slowly I settled into a state of comfortable confusion.
There was an absurdity that I couldn’t navigate in a tangible way, which initially made me feel somewhat isolated. However, this is a show that actively invites you to experience your reactions as elements of the script itself.
Julia Croft occupied the space in a way which felt like she had lived there for her whole life, and may continue long after we left. Despite the tight transitions and well-crafted structure, Croft’s solo performance seemed far from scripted.
Every facial expression and melodramatic flourish appeared deeply woven with that exact moment in time. It felt almost as if we were witnessing the show being created, live before our eager eyes.
Power Ballad brilliantly and insistently demands the abandonment of an outside world. Still, it remains politically relevant and thought provoking.
The show was an intoxicating immersion which exists like something I dreamt of once, and never remembered in detail, but still held tight to the associated feelings. I highly recommend this fresh breath of feminist theatre and nostalgic karaoke.