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VFD creative director Lyall Hakaraia: Reviews Fancy Chance: Flights of Fancy 

Last Tuesday I went to see the scratch performance of Fancy Chance's Flights of Fancy as part of a two night run with the support of the Soho theatre. The vehicle for the night was a flight across the world from London to the US to Korea with Fancy as our stewardess, inflight movie and cultural tour guide, played to great effect with a mixture of video messages and live performance.

The mixture of autobiographical material with revelations her adoption and search for her American and Korean identity and trying to find and where she ‘fits in,’ combined with a strip tease and lack of technical fluidity gave the production a raw edge. There were laughs a plenty and Fancy is a natural comedian with great timing and an effortless ability to include her audience. Laughs with an edge make for an interesting evening and I look forward to seeing where she takes the production from here. Soho Theatre have just booked a longer run so if you missed it first time round, check out her Twitter feed here for more information.

Kava Girls

On the the day of the EU referendum I traveled out of the my East End comfort zone and headed to a decidedly damp Balham and the Theatre N16 to catch the performance of KAVA GIRLS.

The unfolding story picks apart the lives of three aspiring actresses who are all on the verge of getting their next big break that will provide them with the fame, financial stability and the recognition that they all desire.

The story is set backstage and the 3 are all understudies for 1 part. This promotes a distinct pecking order. Debra is the first understudy and is happy that for 3 years she has never been called on stage; the emotional stability of being in that position suits her lack of ambition and faded talent well. Salma is much more ambitious and is constantly seeking to find her self new roles only to be ’heavily penciled ‘ for parts that never come through, she wishes for a life on stage under the lights. Sinalei is a young Fa’afafine from Samoa who is assuring herself and everyone else (including her mother via the phone) that everything is going well for her and that she is street smart even though she is ‘green’ to London and the stage.

The staging of the play is ingenious and with a few simple props an expanse of vision is achieved  and sustained through out the piece. There is much singing as befits a story told backstage of a West End musical and the lyrics fall somewhere between Tim Rice and an episode of Glee. There is an audience for this work and the story line, while not unexpected, is never the less pleasing and makes for an enjoyable evening.

Good luck to the KAVA GIRLS as they journey around the UK on their PRIDE TOUR. The all female cast is refreshing and the inclusion of a Fa’afafine (a word that describes men who live as women in the pacific) character adds another dimension to a well acted and sung piece of work.

For details of gigs across the UK click here.

ABSOLUT MIX: STONEWALL FUNDRAISER

I was delighted to be invited as one of this year's Absolute Mix designers, alongside greats like Sibling and Gareth Pugh. You can see my collaboration with artist Tino Seubert here. The bottle went to auction and raised £550 for Stonewall which is fantastic!