Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel @ Battersea Arts Centre Review

The last 3 years for us have been incredibly unpredictable and life altering, we’ve been hit with a pandemic that has gone on to shape how we currently live in a major way. Within theatre, the domino effect of the first theatre closing its doors in March 2020 in response to the pandemic, an open letter to the government calling for support industry-wide signalling the beginnings of a recovery process that during the interim birthed and encouraged the use of little known digital platform ‘Zoom’, amongst other digital innovations. Post pandemic, we rebuild, however the repercussions of the last few years have been mighty. So we ask ourselves, moving forward, what does the future of the oldest performance form look like? Where do we go from here? Award winning theatre maker Tim Crouch bravely ponders this in experimental piece Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel.

Spectators turned protagonists, we form part of the evening’s main body, Crouch calling to attention each of our seated sections, we in the process gaining a clearer perspective of what he sees when he’s on stage. Stalls, circle seats, upper circle seats, royal boxes, corporate sections, restricted view seats determining how we in turn experience what we’re presented on said envisioned proscenium arched stage. This also informing how Crouch performs his 70 minute piece moving forward, the booking process – a quietly significant moment brought to attention, a novelty, highlighting the topic of class and how we willingly participate in this when at the theatre.

This, interwoven with Crouch’s take on Shakespeare’s Fool in King Lear and how he quietly observes the show’s regal family – the epitome of class, slowly crumble and plenty of dead pan jokes that aren’t afraid to cross the line showcasing Crouch’s rich theatre making eye. Crouch’s ability to observe the now through symbolism, allegories, jokes and anecdotes effortlessly astounds, we’re left questioning post pandemic, in a time where the cost is living crisis impacts many, cultural wars, funding cuts, amongst other worldly events what this means for the art form of theatre, in an evermore digitised world – Crouch’s wearing of a VR set quietly capturing the futuristic zeitgeist. Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel questions the state of theatre, a question for many in the arts that resounds. A profound evening that celebrates the craft of quality theatre making, I highly recommend!

Written by Lucy Basaba.

Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel is currently showing until Saturday 18th March 2023 at the Battersea Arts Centre. To find out more about the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop