Timing is everything, In Tarot one missed acrobatic move could result in humiliation or severe industry but Tarot’s biggest failing in its transfer from Edinburgh is its own timing. The 6pm slot is just too early and safe for a show that sees itself as risky.
It also doesn’t know what it wants to be; this slightly shambolic identity crisis means that this part music gig (with forgettable music), circus (with repetitive acts) and a promise of tarot readings with a loosely linked circus performance and history of the tarot cards. It is such a shame that it clearly doesn’t read its audience, who enthusiastically wanted their tarot read by Ruby Wednesday, a charismatic queer performer who clearly adores tarot and all things spiritual.
The issue is that the thing that makes it unique and interactive barely features. The circus performance, whilst highly skilled, just didn’t work in the small space. It all felt rather safe and boring. The highlight; the tarot readings was one of the few opportunities where a sense of fun and play successfully came together. It was a real misfire to not link the tarot readings and the circus. Ultimately Tarot feels like a good idea gone wrong, disjointed and cheap. Whilst this show might be cute as student revue as a professional fringe production it doesn’t know or doesn’t care for its target audience.
Tarot is on until 1 February 2020 https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/tarot/