Kompact Cabaret

Tuesday, 4 October, 2011

Candlelit Cabaret

Kompact Theatre boasts an experienced cast and production team whose training includes East 15, ALRA, The London College of Music, Arts Ed, Royal Academy of Music, Central School of Speech and Drama, London School of Musical Theatre and STAC.  This evening of entertainment was a refreshing look at Musical theatre. Kompact Theatre has been running since 2009 with the idea of producing current musical theatre and the main focus being material by contemporary composers who create work for smaller casts.   This is a great way to showcase voices without using traditional musical theatre ideals.

Battersea Barge is a small venue based on the river with a capacity of about 75 people. Getting onto this atmospheric vessel is a bit of a steep challenge but once on it feels very lively. As you come down the stairs of the barge there is a bar to you right and a spiral staircase (not for the faint hearted and probably best that the gents is up the staircase and not the ladies as no high heel would survive and you might get a view of the odd knickers here and there.). This barge has long wooden tables and chairs on either side and at the bow is the stage with red curtains and another spiral staircase coming down onto the stage.

The layout of the show was quite simple with each performer sat on a chair at the back of the stage with the pianist down stage right. The cabaret started off with the whole of the Kompact cast singing ‘The traffic island song’ from Island songs by Carner and Gregor. ‘Labels’ from Bunked by Kunin and Proctor was sung by the very charismatic Daniel James Turvey. He had just got to a line about the alluring muscularity of a jocks thigh when the whole barge went dark. This hour long show was delayed as a member of staff from the barge went home to get a generator to see if the show could go on. Tea lights were lit and the audience carried on in high spirits with an extra drink or two.  No diva tantrums were thrown or tears by the performers.  The cast simple came down from the stage and mingled with the audience.  Once the generator arrived the show ran with one microphone a keyboard and a torch put where the original spotlight was placed. The cast got back on stage and started where they had left off, thighs and all.

Highlights of the evening were Mark Daley, Amy Spicer and Daniel Turvey singing ‘The Ballard of Sarah Beany’ from 35mm by Ryan Scott Oliver. Each of the singers had a good range and depth to their voices they didn’t just sing there acting and musicality were incredibly strong.  Amy Spicer was the star turn she is an actress and singer with much presence it felt like she could fill a venue as large as Wembley with her talent.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if at least half of this company are performing on a West End stage in years to come.  Kompact Theatre are a bright talent lights on or off!

Cast: Helen Woolf, Daniel James Turvey, Mark Daley, Hannah Spicer, Amy Spicer, Sophie Mills, Will Morgan.



Reviewed Sunday 25th September at Battersea Barge, Tideway Walk, Nine Elms Lane, London, SW8 5BP

(c) Rebecca Talbot 2011

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