Rubbish Review

Rubbish Review by Alice Pegrum

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Rubbish? Far from it!

This February, Theatre-Rites bring you a half term treat in the shape of a Rubbish dump, but this show is far from discarded trash.

Rubbish opens in a wasteland wonderland; bin bags are piled high, there’s an eerie whistle in the air and three strange figures enter our view. We soon find out these are the excavators – modern-day litter pickers on a journey of discovery, aided only by clutter from the scrap pile. As each new object emerges from box or bag, the audience remain captivated as they wait in anticipation for the big reveal, and there’s a certain feeling of solidarity between public and performer, as they delve into this glorious garbage together.

The company is made up of four members who join together on their journey of junk. Armed with litter-grabbers and hard-hats, the four-strong ensemble create bursts of colour and excitement amongst the dull and dreary backdrop of a refuse heap. Each movement is delivered with precision and care and menial tasks such as wiping feet or putting on gloves become immediately interesting and stimulating. However, the most impressive part of this 75 minute show comes from the imaginative and inspiring puppetry. From stainless steel ducks to mop-headed dogs, each animated creature is created with flawless conviction, and its success can be measured by the number of little faces that subsequently light up with enthusiasm. The idea of adventure is prominent throughout the piece, but there are hints of topical issues too, with nods to healthy eating and recycling by the ever-growing bin-bag-boy puppet.

From start to finish, the audience stay faithful to each twist and turn of the plot, and a strong feeling of reward comes through stunning visuals, perfect comic timing and moments of true beauty.

Rubbish is a must-see performance from outstanding children’s company Theatre-Rites, and will make you consider a huge number of things, including the important question… Is there life after litter?

Rubbish runs at Warwick Arts Centre until Sat 23 Feb and tickets are available here.