New Crazy Paving Maker Just In From China

Shaolin Warriors
Theatre Severn
6th/May/2013

Well it may have been hot outside last night but it got pretty hot in Theatre Severn too as the Chinese Shaolin Monks showed off their Kung Fu skills and their amazing manual dexterity. With their flicks, Kicks, drops and hops, the traditionally attired monks took the audience on a journey from boyhood to manhood as a Shaolin monk.

Naturally, one was deeply impressed with what they could achieve from the paving stone stunt (see pictured) right through to the incredible aerial kicks and punches. But, and here comes the but, the two pre- teen boys they had on stage for the duration of the show showed that they were just as deeply disciplined as their older counterparts. That being the case one can’t help but feel sorrow for the loss of childhood. To become so overpoweringly brilliant at Kung Fu you would have to give up most of what you would class as normal lives. These boys too, must have lost out on a lot of childhood that can’t be retrieved, ever.

Why are the Chinese Monks so happy with how the boys have turned out? One gets the impression that the boys proved, even as a minors, that one is expected to give up everything to become a trainee monk. The question that presents itself is; who are the parents that are happy to expose these children to the shaolin way as opposed to a normal life?  Maybe it’s a great honour for your child to rise through the ranks of the monks but watching them perform was like watching some kind of animatronic and that disturbs me.

That said the show was a dazzling spectacle made up of moves that humans can’t normally achieve. One stunt did go slightly wrong when the Shaolin Master tried to break a broom handle over one of the monks’ head. Firstly he smashed one over the orange clad recipient’s forearm, from behind, but then, whack, down it came on this poor lad’s head. I think you have guessed it already. All we heard was a sickening crack as the stale refused to break. Ouch. Anyway the bemused monk got up and pretended it didn’t hurt. He didn’t fool anyone as the audience knew from the dry thud sound that was sure going to smart.

Notwithstanding the issue of children’s work expectation this was a fascinating and action packed show. There were some real intake of breath moments and some wow moments.

Theatre Severn proves again that the stage is just an empty box where anything amazing can happen. Well we know it can and last night it certainly did.

 

This a four star review.

Owen Lewis
 

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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