Sunday, 30 August 2015

Edfest Day 24 & 25: Little Show of Horrors

Tonight's evening meal - subway.  Why? Because if you're a solo diner in busy places at peak food time,  you're not getting in. Fast food places though?  Hell, that shizzle's for everyone to enjoy.  Whatever,  I saved about £8 for it... In money.  I'm probably paying that 8 pounds in calorie content instead.

Finally saw a show at zoo venues this evening, where I bumped into a girl who is clearly my soul mate,  if I were gay and such a thing existed. She was horrified to see I had the same bag as her (which is a pretty unique bag), we chose seats right by each other at the same show. A light hearted choice - "The Ted Bundy Project". I felt the need for something dark and challenging before my musical theatre frivolity this evening.  Plus it comes with the Lyn Gardner seal of approval.

There's something both friendly and eerie about the solo performer in this show. Comforting and alarming. He bounds into the room dressed in tennis gear. White shorts, white tshirt, white socks and white shoes. His piercing blue eyes scan the room trying to make eye contact. He seems friendly and non threatening, but at the same time makes us feel slightly on edge. Like Bundy himself, I suppose. "he seemed nice" said his neighbours.

The show is performed and written by Greg Wohead and examines our morbid curiousity with violence - how we are both attracted and repulsed by it. There are uncomfortable moments in this show. At times my breathing felt shallow and my heart pumped - especially at one particular moment when we aren't sure whether we're about to witness something horrific. The girl next to me covered her eyes. I won't go into details ... spoilers and all.

This show gives us a lot of food for thought and had my attention from start to finish. The hour flew by. If anything, I wish it had been longer... but then I guess that's morbid curiosity for you. We always want to know more.
[An aside. I thought at the time this show was very 'forest fringe'  - experimental, risk taking, challenging, offbeat - and after looking at his website it turns out that he was there with this show last year. Don't tell me I can't identify show types.]  

It was time to lighten up. What better way than with musical theatre.... about a murderous, blood hungry plant. No theme here.

"Little Shop of Horrors" was next on the menu. I love the film but have never seen the stage show and after reading a 5 star review, I was reeled in. It was also my first visit to a Paradise venue - Paradise in St Augustines. 

I wasn't disappointed. This is a strong ensemble and their puppetry of Audrey 2 was exemplary. Every movement and facial expression was synchronised and as each person gets 'eaten' they merge into the plant. I get the feeling this company specialises in puppetry, since the programme says they did Avenue Q last year. 

The singing voices of the lead characters weren't all that strong, but honestly, for a show like this it didn't matter that much; the acting is much more vital and I have no complaints there. Though it must be said, the trio that provide the narrative all had great singing voices. 

I didn't realise how different the ending of the stage show is to the film. It's darker (and darker, of course, means more interestng, as we learned from the Ted Bundy Project) but it meant there was no 'mean green mother from outer space' and that is a great song. Swings and roundabouts.

I didn't blog yesterday as I spent most of the day doing "life admin", before going to Forest Fringe to watch the show "Alba", then volunteering for the evening. (Life admin = tidying up, emails, washing, throwing away all the flyers I forced flyerers to give me, eating an actual proper meal and.. er... watching netflix.)

"Alba" is a show devised and performed by a girl with albinism. It's a quiet, subtle piece which feels like a gentle brush on the cheek rather than a pull on the heartstrings. It leaves us with a soft, warm feeling and smelling faintly of talc. It shows us that people who may be different and unique externally are ultimately exactly the same as everyone else, doing the same mundane things like ironing, making a sandwich and washing their hair.

As I was over at the biscuit factory ushering for volcano again, I stayed to watch the show in the space above, called "Now is the Time to Say Nothing" - an audio visual immersive experience about the people affected by the Syrian conflict.

11 chairs are set up in a circle facing away from each other, each with their own old fashioned CRT television set and a pair of headphones. The experience begins there, as a London based youth drama group deliberate on how we can feel more connected with the people of Syria. 

This is a hard-hitting, sobering peice. Earlier in the evening I smashed my phone and this piece truly made me think about how our first world problems, though often frustrating, are so small compared to what these people go through on a daily basis - the fear, the hopelessness....the horror. 

No comments:

Post a Comment