Theatre Review: Siro-A

I went to the theatre last night and now I’m going to try to review what I saw, but I’m still a little lost for words to be honest. I hoped that after a day Siro-A’s performance at the Leicester Square Theatre would have sunk in and I would have found a way to describe how utterly brilliant it was, but I haven’t quite got there yet, so forgive my ramblings…

Siro-A, Leicester Square Theatre

It started like this…

I’ve never taken LSD or any other kind of hallucinogenic drugs, but now that I’ve seen Siro-A’s show I feel like I might have a better idea of what a trip would be like. The show is a non-stop hour of techno beats, flashing lights, mind bending videos, tricks, and seamless movement. It’s hard to categorise this theatre production, but I guess I would say ‘sort of dance-based with elements of mime’. Siro-A have been billed as ‘Japan’s answer to the Blue Man Group’; I’ve not seen the Blue Man Group perform live, but from what I can see on YouTube there’s certainly a likeness (as an aside, check out this video of the Blue Man Group at the Summersonic festival in Tokyo in 2007).

As I can’t find the words to describe this psychedelic show, have a look at this video:

Last night’s performance included everything you can see in the video above, as well as multiple computer game references (including a fabulous Mario bit), clever imitations of famous logos, such as Ralph Lauren, Kappa, McDonald’s and Nike, little nods to London (including the Olympic mascots!), and lots of other fast-paced, high-tech shenanigans. I was surprised by how funny it was – really laugh-out-loud funny – and then at other times almost touchingly beautiful.

The piece I found funniest was simply ridiculous – it was a song about one of the band members called Abe Toshinori, and they used his name repeatedly throughout the song. It was repetitive nonsense really, but I loved it! Sadly I couldn’t find a video of it anywhere, but here’s a still, showing ‘bald Toshinori’:

Siro-A - Abe Toshinori

Abe Toshinori (アベトシノリデス)

(Image source)

What I found most mind-blowing about the show was trying to figure out how they did it. Videos were projected onto the members of Siro-A, and onto blocks and panels on the stage and, in perfect time with the music, everyone moved around without once being in the wrong place. There was such precision in every movement, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen such a tight performance in any theatre production.

The show was short – barely an hour – but actually any more might have been too much. I did think the tickets were a little bit expensive (£17) given the length of the show, but I can’t fault the quality of the performance.

As my friend and I left the theatre I think we were both a little shell-shocked. We sort of wanted to go clubbing, having basically watched a rave for the last hour, but ended up opting for Japanese food instead. More about that in another post…

Siro-A’s show is on at the Leicester Square Theatre in London until 22nd April – get your tickets now!

More information:

Leicester Square theatre

Siro-A on Facebook (Japan) /Siro-A on Facebook (UK)

Siro-A on Twitter: @SIRO_A_

Siro-A’s official website (in English)


Siro-A (白A) are Iwai Hiroyuki (Sound programmer), Daiki (Performer), Arai Toshiya (Performer), Abe Toshinori (Performer), Yohei (Performer), and Sato Ryosuke (Video artist)

(Image source)

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