Gym Party

Theatre, Experimental
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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The always surprising theatre company Made In China bring their latest offering 'Gym Party' exploring the nature of competition, to London. Three actors compete for the audiences affection and points in a weird, Big Brother-style warped gameshow.


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Billed as a "razor sharp and darkly comic exploration of our universal desire to win", Gym Party hits harder than expected. Theatre collective Made In China are hilarious, relatable, confronting, and audacious in this hour of conversation, stories, silly dancing and, of course, competition. A bare stage below neon signs bearing the names of the three contestants/performers leaves the space open for their whimsical party games that become increasingly personal and full on. This show becomes less about actual competitions and tangible wins and more about identity, vulnerability and the personal competitiveness that has its tendrils around our relationships, choices and self-esteem. The cast, in white gym gear and coloured wig/Converse combos, give honest and valiant performances. This is a well-paced, well-structured and entertaining show. But the biggest achievement here is how Made In China have cannily crafted their relationship with the audience: a brilliant power play that leaves you surprised by the awkwardness and guilt you begin to feel for your part in their games. Gym Party is about winning. It’s about losing. It’s about the need to feel good about yourself and the shit people do so that they can. And it’s great.