Hailing from New York, the Blue Man Group has arrived at the New London theatre to hit British audiences with a production like no other. Knowing only that it involves three men with blue faces, Caroline Bishop was despatched to the first night and given the extremely tricky task of conveying to you, our lovely readers, what it’s all about…
It’s quite difficult to describe the indescribable. Three men wearing black, their hands and heads covered in blue paint (think Tony Hart’s plasticine creation Morph, only blue, bigger, with clothes and more scary), a live band in luminous skeleton suits, a stage set with various props, screens and paint-filled drums, with strange giant worm-like tubes fixed to the ceiling of the New London theatre.
Can you tell what it is yet? No, probably not, because the Blue Man Group is in a genre of its own. A multi-media performance involving music, dramatic lighting, slapstick (wordless) comedy and futuristic goings on, all shaped together in a series of sketches; the show could be Ant and Dec meets David Blaine meets Stomp – an odd combination, but so odd that it just might work.
The three blue men perform all the sketches throughout the show. At first glance they seem impersonal and robotic, with a penchant for scaring small children, but through comedic body language and many funny moments a human personality is revealed beneath their android-like appearance.
Their unusual talents mostly involve bodily functions and include drumming on pipes, creating a work of art by spitting paint-filled gobstoppers at a canvas, rhythmically crunching Rice Krispies and banging their heads against a TV screen – from inside the TV.
Audience participation is also a feature of the show, the theatre spotlight sweeping the crowd for a lucky/unlucky (delete as appropriate) audience member to help the blue men in their quest for the bizarre.
All in all it’s messy, clever, irreverent and spectacular, and involves copious amounts of loo roll. But frankly, after this description you’ll be none the wiser, because the only way to really experience the Blue Man Group is to go and see it. Just don’t be late.