hits you like a freight train

— REVIEW of ‘Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone’ | Adam Hemming

Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone | Review

I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to three shows at the uber-cool Vault Festival in the last couple of weeks. Everything about the Vault Festival is cool – the location underground in the Waterloo vaults, the gallery-turned coffee shop, the Underbar with the long canteen style tables leading up to the bands/DJs, even the names of the individual venues (the Cage, the Crescent, the Cavern). With over 100 shows packed into six weeks, there is a wealth of exciting work on show….

…to see Les Foules’ Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone. I met Nathalie Adlam and Peter Wiedmann in 2013 when they brought their excellent production of Cymbeline to the Space so was delighted to get an invite to see their work again.  My chance encounters included Emma Blackman (who performed wonderfully as Tatyana in the One Festival last month) accompanied by Bertie the gorilla, Alex Crampton (director of a recent R and D project at the Space) but I knew I was in for something different when I discovered I was sat next to Phil Mann. My wife is still traumatised after seeing Phil perform in a play alongside a 6ft penis some years ago. Phil is part of the highly successful Battleacts improv group, also performing at the Vault. This piece – Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone – featured five short scenes written by Australian playwright Tobias Manderson-Galvin, all cleverly interlinked. The writing is beautifully brutal and hits you like a freight train, each piece a challenging feat ably met by the four excellent performers. Frightening visions of where we’re headed as a society, dark, intense, philosophical and comedic.

“hits you like a freight train”