20 July 2021
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
I was not prepared for the wild ride that Bagdad Cafe would be! Excited to see more live theatre, I went to the Old Vic for the first time in a long time to see the Wise Children Company production of Bagdad Cafe, a story about strangers thrown together and bonded through their experiences.
Even just the set alone worked so beautifully as the throwback to the 80s, with a caravan-cafe representing the Bagdad Cafe, gas station, and Motel. Somewhere in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Brenda struggles with her family and her useless husband, whom she throws out on the road just as tourist Jasmin comes along, fleeing her own marriage and finding herself completely aimless and hopeless in the middle of nowhere.
The women start off with a rocky relationship, but through the colourful host of characters by their side, the love of music and magic, they bond in unexpected ways. Every single one of the characters is so well developed while left quite plain for the audiences to project their own expectations. And the whimsical stage design and adorable puppets really fill the air with magic.
A beautiful story of community and friendship, this one really hit perfectly in our current climate of loneliness and so much time spent apart. I loved this beautiful production and felt very much part of a community through it, what a wonderful thing to bring to people in these rough times.