As you enter Unity One, there is nothing to suggest that there is going to be a performance of any kind. Chairs are positioned on the stage itself to give a box shape and there is nothing but a circle of carpet in the centre. But as the lights dim and the show begins, you know you are going to be in for a real treat as Daniel Bye himself is sat amongst the audience. With a very big 'Hello, my name is Dan' so the show begins.
Bye does not use the full auditorium instead he brings the audience onto the stage so that he has all four sides covered. This allows him to travel around his audience, as he sits next to you to tell his story and there is a real feeling of being part of the performance. There is a little bit of audience participation but nothing that’s make you feel uncomfortable as Bye is so natural with his dialogue that at times it just felt like he is having a chat with you.
Directed by Dick Bonham this 70-minute show is a blend of storytelling and performance lecture and Bye has packed a lot of information into his clever script. He breaks from his narrative at regular intervals to demonstrate points in the story such as how our cells work in the body which he represents by using lots and lots of liquorice allsorts. An onion and a chilli also make an appearance during the show.
Bye is clever in the construction of this piece, the research done to gather the information needed to produce a very engaging, funny but at times poignant script. There is real warmth to the different characters as he delivers his monologue, and you cannot help but be engaged with the storytelling that is delivered beautifully.
Perceptive and thought provoking, Bye has delivered a very topical show and one that will do well as it makes its way across the land on its current tour.