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Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre may be facing closure and today started a Kickstarter campaign in order to keep the North East’s Fringe venue open (Fundraiser LINK) but it is business as usual on stage. The well earned reputation for providing the space for exciting new performances to take place continues with the world premiere of An Evening With Savvy B.
Performer Hannah Walker starts the show by describing how, when she moved to Newcastle, she became quite partial to a glass of Sauvignon Blanc aka Savvy B.She hands a few samples out of one brand of it and asks for a description. Hannah has a number of other Sauvignon Blanc’s to share with the audience along with detailed tasting notes and a guide on how to properly experience a wine. So is this a wine tasting session? No. It’s much more.
The clever part of the show is that a huge video image of a drinking Hannah appears and starts to interact with Hannah with great timing. The close up video image is looking at Hannah and passing comments on what she is saying in the way that drunk friends do. She brings up the fact that she produced a single when she was 16 & confident and it gets another airing during the show. The interplay between live Hannah and video Hannah leads to a number of light hearted moments.
The show is about the binge drinking culture but it isn’t judgemental about Hannah’s situation. If you want a clarion call for sobriety or for Hannah’s drinking to lead to her oblivion then this is the wrong show. Drinking is a social activity and we often do things after a drink that we wouldn’t do without one. It is honest, light hearted and funny. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Savvy B is also rather clever.
It is a canny way to spend 45 minutes and typical of the high quality work that we have come to expect from Alphabetti’s programming. Plus as a “Pay What You Feel” show – it wont cost you the Earth.