Strike! is a show seeking to blend circus and theatre to express the injustices of a Kafkaesque system a group of workers find themselves in. It does this through dance, mime, clowning and various circus skills.
The circus tricks were uniformly excellent, well executed and imaginatively staged. I liked that the desk became a cage for aerial work, and that a bank of cardboard boxes I'd dismissed as backdrop was a jumping-off point for a high wire act. The cage work in particular was truly spectacular. The performers worked with grace and humour, really coming into their own on these larger set piece tricks.
The theatre and dance elements, however, were much weaker. There was no discernible narrative - the scenes offered to us were more along the lines of "we're in a normal office, but everything is weird and dystopian for some reason," than any kind of linked sequence of events. Even the most basic of love stories or tragedy narratives would have really elevated the show and given the audience something to grip onto between tricks. The show is non-verbal, and communication is largely through mime and clowning. This could have worked well, but needed to be much tighter - one of the performers was annoyingly early on all the sound cues for a scene involving dumping things on a desk. As that was literally all that happened in that scene, the inaccuracy rendered an already slightly pointless scene to be excruciatingly tedious.
I would have expected a show called Strike! to have more prominent political themes than this did. While there was some suggestion of a struggle against the status quo of meaningless office work, this was very muddled and unclear. The surrealness of the presentation of the material robbed this message of any clarity.
While this show is not at all unlikeable, and has moments of real charm, the confusion and imprecision of the non-circus elements detract from the overall show. This would have been better as 20 joyful minutes rather than one confusing hour.