Review: House of Life

A celebratory journey of self-discovery

theatre review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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House of Life
Photo by House of Life
Published 10 Aug 2023

We are the congregation. The Rave-rend and his ministerial hype man Trev are the hosts. Strap in for an hour of relentless feel-goodery.

House of Life is a step-by-step guide to knowing yourself, finding your happiness and never being miserable again. A lot to promise these days, the Rave-rend admits, but we’re all in this together, and to his eternal credit, he has charisma for days. With a beard as glittery as his cassock, he whips the audience into a frenzy of call-and-response and singalongs. This is a participatory show, but without any real pressure to join in. Even the most hardened cynic, however, may as well give themselves up to the Rave-rend’s teachings: he creates a communal atmosphere that’s so welcoming, by the end audience members are confessing their deepest desires from life before having them yelled back at them in a celebratory frenzy.

The goal is to make people happy and celebrate togetherness. With the Rave-rend’s contagious energy spreading like incense, he achieves this, thanks to his ability to command the audience and Trev’s skill with a loop pedal. After travelling from Rebirth to Purge (a hellish soundscape of the audience’s dislikes set to an insistent beat), it would be churlish not to give in to this weird, uplifting catharsis.