REVIEW: BBC Performance Live – The Way Out

Brian Butler April 11, 2020

BBC iPlayer has formed a creative partnership with the Battersea Arts Centre to bring a series of 12 pieces of performance that will light up your lockdown.

The Way Out , it has to be said,  is weird but wonderful. Filmed in one continuous 42 minute shot, it leads us through a bewildering but enchanting labyrinth of corridors, stairs, back passages and performance spaces inside the Arts Centre to tell an enigmatic but delightful tale.

Asking what it means is rather like asking what Hamlet , or a daffodil or a butterfly means. A youngster rushes into the building from a dark  rainy night and is met immediately by the flamboyant and voluble Guide, played by Omid Djalili.

He speaks riddles and rhymes as he ushers the outsider ( Blaithin Mac Gabhann) to spaces where various performers sing, dance, perform acrobatics and read verse. We are treated to a delightfully, strange and evocative performance by Brighton legend of the vocal arts Le Gateau Chocolate

There’s lots of wordplay about exits being entrances and in the end the performance piece and indeed the building itself is telling us we have to find our true selves and our purpose in life. Writer/director Suri  Krishnamma is clearly pushing us towards the realisation that the arts, and the interaction of live performance – alas no longer available to us – is what matters in life .

As the Guide says : ‘ I can only deliver you to the door- it’s up to you to go through it.

I suggest you do.

The Way Out is on BBC iPlayer along with 11 other performance pieces.