Siro-a Review

If somebody tells you they’re taking you to see a play this spring by the name of Siro-a, somebody lied.

It’s so much more than that.

The electronic brainchild of Abe Toshinori, Siro-a are a six strong performing troupe from Japan who mix music, light shows, mime, dance as well as a generous dash of humour in their hit show straight out of Toshinori’s hometown.

Which you’ll even get to see at one point, but I’ve got ahead of myself here.

The first thing you’ll notice about Siro-a is the 5 foot something man in an even taller hat greeting people as they enter the basement stage of the show’s current Leicester Square Theatre home.

Decked out in a neon white, figure hugging outfit and matching hat, this other worldly creature is either part of tonight’s entertainment or seriously overcompensating for some of his other shortcomings.

Of course, it’s the former, and this tall guy is here to warm the audience up while the real show gets ready to break out on stage.

It’s at this point things get crazy, as the imagination and innovative tricks of Siro-a begin and immediately defy a regular theatre experience.

First off, there are two musical dudes at the back of the stage twiddling with knobs and scratching up records who provide the electronic and occasionally hard hitting techno beats for the show.

More noticeable are the three front and centre performers including Toshinori himself, ready to throw themselves into all manner of dance moves and technological tomfoolery.

Did I mention these guys are wearing what appear to pterodactyl heads decorated with blue lights down the middle, and projecting green lasers out over the audience’s head?

Well, they are.

Everyone’s wearing the same futuristic looking white suits too, and the reasoning for this uniformity soon becomes clear.

Backing up this human element of Siro-a up are a collection of white screens upon which a series of visually eclectic electronic montages are projected onto while the introductory high tempo music fills up the theatre.

That’s just about as technical as I’m going to get in trying to describe Siro-a, mostly because anything more than this would be a feat far beyond me.

What I can tell you is at a Siro-a show you’ll see grown men dancing with Super Mario, a one man Russian doll techno band, real dancers performing alongside identical projected versions of themselves ‘til you can’t tell one from the other as they jump out of their split wardrobe white screens and much more besides.

As inventive as it sounds, Siro-a is a full on experience that stimulates the senses and immerses you wholly into the futuristic landscape of Abe Toshinori’s mind.

So if someone invites you to see this strange sounding show, forget about settling down for a regular theatre experience and prepare to have your mind blown by the future instead.

Jonathan Campbell

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