The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
Computer technology is advancing at such a rapid pace it's little wonder it isn't utilised more in theatres, perhaps because the tech geeks are still too much in a minority for that to happen. Or are the purists afraid to try something different?
Step forward six quirky Japanese guys who have mastered video artistry so well they've turned it into a dance-cum-comedy show that certainly pushes the boundaries of theatre in its traditional sense.
Without using words Siro-A make the most of computers to interact with the audience. At one point the camera turns to focus on a punter's head before comic projections such as the body of a sumo wrestler and superman are displayed beneath them.
But the majority of this short one-hour show is taken up by computer-human dance routines where the video image is made to look like reality and appears to exist in the same space as the performer.
In one sequence a performer bounces a real ball before its computerised projection comes back to hit him over the head. Another has a branded T-shirt projected onto his torso that replaces itself with a different T-shirt as soon as he appears to strip them off.
Some may find this a little silly and cute. Yet while modern Japanese stereotypes are used they work to the production's advantage rather than coming across as crass.
Refreshing and fun, it's a production that's certainly a change from standard West End fare and could be the start of something much bigger.
Guaranteed to surprise before it becomes predictable.