Tarantino Live Show in London: A spectacular homage to Tarantino’s films

I had the privilege of watching the Tarantino Live show from a table right at the stage, and from the very beginning, it was evident that the West End had moved to Hammersmith. Held at the Riverside Studios, this show proved to be one of the best immersive performances I have witnessed in recent years. From the professional actors who doubled as singers and dancers to the original and complex lighting design, every aspect of the show was meticulously crafted to enhance the performances. The live musicians, despite being placed in two opposite areas of the room, played in perfect unison, creating a truly immersive experience.

Tarantino Live london mums magazine collage

One of the standout elements of the show was the incredible portrayal of Tarantino’s women. The cast did justice to the high-profile original actresses in Tarantino’s films, and their singing skills were particularly exceptional. As someone who was not a fan of Tarantino due to the crude violence in his films, this show completely changed my perspective. It presented a plethora of references and showcased Tarantino’s genius in a way that even non-fans could understand and appreciate. However, it should be noted that the show is not suitable for children due to its realistic special effects, including dripping blood scenes and actors pointing guns towards the audience. As someone sitting so close to the stage that I could have touched the actors, these effects managed to startle me.

Once the lights dimmed and the show began, a guy with stringy hair took centre stage, guitar in hand, and kicked off the night with a monologue from Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. However, the momentum quickly shifted as a dapper Reservoir Dog entered the scene, channeling Tim Roth’s roles in two of Tarantino’s films, and launched into dialogue from Pulp Fiction. With the rest of the Dogs swaggering in, the show was officially underway.

Tarantino Live doesn’t ease you into its world; instead, it throws you headfirst into a dizzying array of Royale-with-cheese commentary, torture scenes, and coke-snorting galore. It feels like a compilation of Tarantino’s most iconic moments, stitched together in cohesive and sometimes confusing storyline. Maybe that’s down to my lack of knowledge of the original films. Any initial confusion is quickly forgotten, thanks to the incredible vocals, dashes of humor, and unapologetic fun that permeate the show.

Throughout the performance, a charismatic narrator-pianist hangs out alongside the brilliant live band in the scaffolding above. Most people in the audience will recognise the classic songs. From ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ to ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ and ‘Hooked On A Feeling,’ these familiar tunes are famous enough to get you grooving along on the edge of your seat.

In explosions of lights and movement, characters sway among the tables dotted around the floor in front of the stage. They manage to belt out impressive high notes effortlessly even when they collapse to the floor as the scene requires. The intimacy of the theatre and raised seats immerse you in the action, and there are moments when being on a table intensifies the experience further. At least this is what happened to myself sitting so close to the action. Whip cracks can be felt in the air, and well-choreographed fight scenes have you dodging sprays of blood and the menacing blades of samurai swords. There are also moments that may leave some audience members feeling slightly uncomfortable.

These are balanced out with numerous crowd-pleasing sequences that keep the energy high throughout the show. The twist scene, executed flawlessly by Tara Lee and George Maguire, elicited a surge of excitement from the audience. Additionally, the songs from Django Unchained, brought to life with goosebump-inducing singing and emotionally charged performances, were definite highlights. Karen Mav delivered a powerhouse performance, and Lifford Shillingford’s warm vocals were a delight. Fans of Inglourious Basterds were also treated to a fiery display that left no room for disappointment.

After the performance, I waited outside the theatre to congratulate the actors as they exited. Despite their exhaustion, they were gracious and kind, a testament to the physical demands of the show.

The Tarantino Live show at the Riverside Studios in London is a spectacular homage to the films of Quentin Tarantino. With its talented cast, original lighting design, and impeccable live music, the show immerses the audience in the world of Tarantino’s cinema. Even for those who may have reservations about the director’s penchant for violence, this production offers a fresh perspective and an opportunity to appreciate Tarantino’s genius. It’s an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Tarantino’s films and delivers it in a format that is both thrilling and accessible.

I should now get up to speed with Tarantino movies and go back to the Riverside Studios before it ends on 30 July 2023.

 

Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, London. W6 9BN

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