Brighton Fringe 2013
"In September 2011, we took a trip across America to see if Bigfoot is out there. We’d like to tell you about it…"
Ella Good and Nicki Kent offer "a new performance examining their experiences of searching for a legendary mythical creature. An exploration into things we cannot see, the spaces they might exist in, and our desire to believe. "
We were led into Wild Thing I Love You in couples by the performers Ella and Nicki, our bags put aside and conversation already flowing as we entered the large canvas tent surprisingly erected in the middle of the Nightingale Theatre. Their care of the audience immediately set a comfortable and friendly tone to share their intrepid journey into the Californian forests in search of the infamous Bigfoot.
Inside the tent we were invited to sit alongside the performers, separated only by a small, green map, and two angle-poise lamps evoking the proverbial campfire. Behind Ella and Nicki stood an ancient TV linked to a live feed, and all the homemade props they used to tell the story of their camping trip.
Ella and Nicki’s performance style was very intimate and understated. Everything drew us into their tiny world. The reverse scale of the puppetry set was very effective; a miniscule rendering of a landscape so vast we can barely imagine it. The moments of humour worked well, sharing the jokes of their trip and the comical character of Bobo.
The use of multimedia was very effective. I loved the makeshift animated quality of the tiny paper houses and the ‘scrolling’ ranger transcript. The latter reminded me of creating short hand drawn animations which can be viewed through a spinner. The multi-sensory element of sharing the energy bar was also great; I felt part of their memory of the trip.
The silhouette of leaves on the outside of the tent was a stroke of genius. I felt transported in that moment, even feeling the need to look over my shoulder and glimpse the rest of the Nightingale beyond the flap of the tent.
Although I wouldn’t want to destroy the atmosphere that Ella and Nicki carefully created, the theatrical elements were so successful they could be pushed a little. Maybe we just need a few more of those moments. The Q and A section afterwards was perfectly pitched and a natural progression from the end of the piece however it did highlight some material that could be used within the piece, for example more information about the Native Americans would be really interesting.
Wild Thing I Love You is a fantastic piece about wilderness and imagination by two very exciting theatre makers.