Blackout At Soho Theatre: Being Inside Dickie Beau’s Head

Danny Hilton
Authored by
Danny Hilton
London Correspondent
July 21, 2013
7:28 a.m.

At London’s Soho Theatre, Dean Street, Soho, ‘Blackout’ is an invitation inside the head of one of the UK’s most unique and genuinely mesmerizing performance artists. It’s like watching someone’s dreams, memories and nightmares unfold from within their psyche, with only a thin, transparent screen acting as a membrane between the man himself, Dickie Beau and the audience.

The action takes place behind this screen, and it gives a feeling of safety to the audience throughout the sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes eerie, but always captivating and totally gripping narrative.

There are interesting visuals throughout – and these visual elements: projections of film clips, wurring film reels and ringing telephones are all an extension of Dickie Beau’s character. They all combine together fluidly to tell his story.

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Blackout is about the people who live inside our head, and how they affect us, inspire us and change us. The people who feature most prominently inside Beau’s head are Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, with the production containing old audio recordings and film relating to, and by, these two icons.

Dickie Beau channels these larger than life characters perfectly, effortlessly, as if physically possessed by the spirit of each of them. This is powerful theatre – an intense experience eased only slightly by occasional humour in the later half.

This production is expertly researched, put together with amazing archive material, including the legendary recordings of Marilyn Monroe’s final interview, just days before her death.

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There are high points of drama that ebb and flow into slower transitional pieces of physical theatre, just as our brain’s ebb and flow between clear, vivid dreams that we remember and fractured images and memories we can barely recollect come morning.

These fractured, distorted, elements of memory, dream, and consciousness that are mixed together throughout, perhaps give us a tantalising glimpse into the world of being Dickie Beau.

Beau tells us about himself through these Hollywood stars, however it can sometimes be hard to decipher what is ‘his voice.’ When the illusion of Beau’s dream world is breached in the climax, you’ll be left with the realisation that getting into someone’s head too deeply may be crossing one line too many…

Gripping, unique and passionate theatre that will keep you thinking.


From Wednesday 17th July to Saturday 27th July, 9:15pm.

Tickets are £17.50 (£15 concessions)

Book tickets here


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