The Crystal Egg, Vaults

By guest critic Lara Alier

Stepping inside the Vaults, we are thrown into a lively London street in the 19th Century. Here we engage with a fortune-teller, listen to a street musician and have to watch for pickpockets. My Barcelonian soul feels at home. 
 
Suddenly a young man appears – Charley Cave. He looks distressed. He ́s lost an egg? My eyes are still wondering around admiring the set design and the carefully collected props. I focus more on the story, and now we are following him into his uncle ́s old curiosity shop. He is trying to warn the famous writer H.G. Wells of the dangers of a crystal egg, and through flashbacks we see how the discovery of this item and the world within it meant the doom of his family. 
 
The family ́s dynamic is the strongest asset of this play. On stage, thanks to the detailed character work of Mark Parsons, Jessica Boyde and Carolina Main, we see a beautiful dance of self-destruction, helplessness, need and care. Being so close to the action really makes us feel involved, and more than once I hear remarks and nervous laughter under peoples’ breath as a reaction to some of the characters ́ behaviours. 
 
Director Elif Knight involves us in the visons and the magic of the egg with the use of light and sound projections, which creates the perfect environment that stimulates our imagination. Even though it becomes a bit too graphic it shows a superb and delicate balance of the use of technology. This piece of immersive theatre is a good example of artistic cohesion that enables the audience to have a
well rounded experience.
 
The Crystal Egg runs through 13 January.
 
The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.
 
 
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