Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Devised by Alex Serrano, Pau Palacios and Ferran Dordal
Viva Spanish and Latin American Festival
9 April 2019 - 13 April 2019; 65min, no interval
It’s quite a week for Barcelona in Manchester, with its football team emerging triumphant and its leading avant-garde theatre company at HOME as part of the venue’s Viva! Spanish and Latin America Festival.
Senor Serrano has a following in these parts thanks to a sell-out a couple of years ago, and the group is back with a typically quirky show of ingenious mixed-media, offering another irreverent outlook on life.
Kingdom uses live video and live music, mixed with footage from big screen King Kong films to tell its own unique version of the history of capitalism.
Bananas feature strongly as the energetic cast of actors, musicians and dancers take a look at consumerism, commercials, multinationals, shortages and much more.
Thanks to a mistranslation from the Latin, you’ll be interested to learn it was a banana that started all the problems in the Garden Of Eden, not an apple...
So bananas and King Kong - in the quirky logic of Senor Serrano - are two beasts that need to grow, symbols of capitalism, a system that devours resources and can’t stop, even as it pushes us all towards extinction.
In the process of presenting the analogy, you might well feel you get to know rather more about the history of bananas than you really need to. In 1890, no one in the West had even seen one, but by 1920 the world had gone bananas for them and the industry around them encapsulated the capitalist system as it ruthlessly swept all before it.
King Kong? Virility and overwhelming force, the true ally of the banana as it pushes ever onwards.
But enough of the serious stuff, the show is nothing if not irreverent as scene after scene projected on the big screen at the back of the stage is created live on a table-front stage by the cast manipulating miniatures - massively magnified to produce treks through jungles and much more.
An appealing quintet of eccentrics keeps the mix ever-fresh and makes for an amusing hour or so of techno clowning.