Review: Kid X at Assembly Roxy
4★★★★

Kid X is a collaborative piece of theatre with Bassline Circus and MHz in association with Feral [Scotland]. It opens with the kind of slickness that is familiar from superhero movies. Eva Lazarus is the super-successful scientist that graces the cover of Time magazine having found success with the creation of a synthetic heart. This heart was first transplanted to her adopted son; Kid X, saving his life but meaning he can never fall in love. The implication is that her own heart has hardened in the process as her work becomes her life, her relationship to her ward is that of a scientist and subject: curious, but not loving. 

This futuristic story is set up within very traditional paradigms. There are touches of the Snow Queen as Kid X is limited by that which has been inserted into his body by an icy matriarch. The message is that love will conquer all, grown-ups don’t understand the next generation and also possibly women shouldn’t neglect their biological duty with too much work?

Love enters Kid X’s life through the medium of Instagram (this future has stayed the same in some ways) and the flexible exploits of a rooftop contortionist who has thousands of adoring followers. A song from Eva Lazarus makes it clear that she is just a girl trying to live her best life, but the comments switch from compliments to a beelzebubian buzz of hatred that threatens to engulf her.

The pair find solace in dancing together over their screens in a kind of digitally uploaded Lurman fish tank scene. This is all accompanied by Eva’s incredible vocals and some of the best use of projection I’ve ever seen. Visually the whole thing is stunning, perfectly coordinated, with Kid X’s flexing, krump and bone-breaking perfectly intertwined with the ‘rooftop selfie queens’. The takeaway is a little less flawless, taking a fairytale structure means that the heroes and villains of the tale are given the character depth of an archetype.

However, it is enlivening, soundtracked with amazing live music and had much of the audience, young and old, on stage and dancing by the end. For any families with young teens, this is one of the only pieces of theatre that might directly appeal to this demographic on their own terms.

Kid X is at Assembly Roxy at 10.00 am until the 25th

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