Review: Caceroleo at Vault Festival 🀯🀯🀯🀯🀯

Rhys Hastings’ mind-melt memoir Caceroleo hurtles towards perfection and irritation at startling pace. 90 minutes whizzes by in this can’t-look-away curiosity.

CACEROLEO | Vault Festival | 24-29 January | From Β£17

Stars are inappropriate for this adventurous head-fuckery from performer/writer Rhys Hastings and director Nastazja Domaradzka – head exploding emojis seem more fitting!

At times the vibe is very Christopher Brett Bailey, i.e. lots of sped up script delivered with machine-gun to an unsuspecting crowd! Other, more successful parts include the incredible filmic storytelling that opens the show for a good 20 minutes, and is then interspersed throughout the performance. The film tells the story of a horrific director leading unfortunate actors to their doom in a supposed but impossible performance ‘safe space’. Al Orange’s constantly moving video work, which incorporates this film alongside seemingly hundreds of stock clips, has a devastating (in a good way) effect and, Hastings’ superior sync with the A/V is magical.

There is an undeniable underlying truth to the piece, but the delivery is so abstract that it’s hard to connect with the woman at the centre of the story of escalating domestic violence. Men should definitely be able to talk about these subjects, but ultimately it does all feel a bit Nietzsche/machismo energy, with little room for the real trauma underneath. Saying that, Hastings’ intense energy and preppy (sometimes irritating) performance is very engaging – but maybe earplugs should be advised for the number of loud shouty sections contained within.

The title is confusing, as are some of the high-brow references. Caceroleo in Spanish denotes a protest against governmental policy by making noise with household objects like pans. The show has this riotous energy – but no pans!

Rhys Hastings is certainly one to watch, and this show definitely deserves to have a future, and experimental venues like Battersea Arts Centre should be clamouring to stage this phenomenon.

Caceroleo is as confusing as life itself – but ultimately thrills as a dangerous and wonderful mixed-media experiment.