Engine Room




live review


London Heaven

AN INVITE only airing for Richard Strange's new (is it a group? Is it a film? Is it a multi media event?) thing. Elder readers will remember Richard as the front being with the Doctors Of Madness, much hipper now than way back when they existed.

In Engine Room he's joined by two former members of The Event Group – one time doyens of Richard's Cabaret Future and nearly famous for doing artsy stuff with cricket bats – who by sitting behind two desks on either side of the stage with screens above their heads.

The music was again of the pre-recorded kind, the machine beyond audience sight-lines and the emergent sound fulfilling a supporting rather than a frontal role. One of the accomplices periodically executed impressively agile dance routines behind Richard, simultaneously the three screens blinked out a succession of (mainly) newscast images.

As I lurched and leaned around the neck standing in front of me, I realised theta presentation of this kind is unfortunately so foreign to the rock sphere. One's senses are attuned to a less sophisticated norm – performers who communicate by grand gestures, sweat and emotion rather than the inferences and subtle actions being offered here.

In essence, Engine Room could be a fine and plausible entertainment but the environment in which to enjoy themselves fully does not yet exist. Their struggle in the future will simply be to find it.


mick sinclair

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