Anywhere Theatre Festival
Black Fox Theatre (JamJar Café, West End)
Duration: 75 minutes

The Black Fox seeks us here, he seeks us there. The Black Fox may find us … anywhere.

Black Fox Theatre style themselves as “a crack team of local writers, poets and musicians” trained in the arts of theatre and guerrilla warfare who can and will perform in any style, anywhere, where you least expect it.

Black Fox Theatre ensemble members may, or may not, wear the mantle (er, fur) of the Black Fox. Daniel Grey, MC and founder, says, the fox just gets under the skin.

Deep in the caffeinated heart of West End is a secret courtyard. It is here that the Black Fox, his devotees and wannabes gather.

Tonight is a quality poetry slam featuring four, or five, or more, of the Black Fox ensemble. In turn, they declaim, rarely read, their poems on numbers (67 eyelashes), music (the date rape drug of choice), love (a bounty hunt), and how they were found by the Black Fox (every hero’s psyche), and produce spontaneous haiku (trigger word from the audience: blue-ringed octopi).

After several poems, Daniel reveals the Flack Box – a black box into which our written questions for the Black Fox, trigger words for Haiku, “speeches, monologues, news reports or sermons to the Black Fox” are dropped during the break. These will be their prompts for the imagination after interval.

The plug for Bard Wars was funny and disappointing: a spontaneous Star Wars excerpt not under the influence of the Bard, Will Shakespeare. Perhaps Daniel’s spontaneous request had colleagues focussed on plot, not language.

The program advertised “a crack team of local writers, poets and musicians”, but, sadly, the musicians were lost in transit. In the elusive nature of the Black Fox, they may appear next time.

The JamJar Café has a community vibe that suits the guerrilla theatre tactics of the Black Fox; but, it is a difficult venue with kitchen noises penetrating to the rear courtyard. To work such a large space requires good vocal projection and diction – and members varied in their delivery. Radio microphones would have been useful but may have impeded the flow and feel of the evening.

Glorified Mixtape will be enjoyed by Black Fox and poetry slam devotees, and those who hear the voice of theatrical adventure. Will you be the next Black Fox?

Performance seen: 11 May 2012
Reviewer: Shirley Way
Posted at Anywhere Theatre Festival http://anywherefest.com/blog/2012/05/review-glorified-mixtape/