Edinburgh Fringe 2014
Greg Sinclair begins and ends with a box on his head. In between he uses the recorded voices of children and his child like view of the world to take us round the unconnected objects he brought with him.
Greg begins in darkness due to the empty box that is on his head. From there we release the hippopotamus, listen to the voices of children from Canal View Primary School direct and advise on the action, hear him play the Cello, witness the balloon performance, how he works a pencil off his cheeks, pops bubble wrap and the zenith which was the rendition of Puppies. It ends with a dance that is as well choreographed as it is judged for the audience to enjoy.
This is a performance piece that is based upon Fluxus – an art movement where short written pieces are performed with actions attached. The episodic nature of it works very well. It means that you have to go with the flow. There were particular high points such as the dance as Taylor Swift, the pens being dropped, Bolero at the beginning and end and the toothpaste – gross but appealing. Some of it was slightly less successful – like releasing the hippo? I was unsure what that was going to lead to but as the young person chosen to bring the object up onstage was reluctant perhaps I missed something.
Greg Sinclair is an engaging performer. It was a delight to see how he judged his performance without panic. It was confident and self assured which meant we could relax and enjoy which madcap direction into which we were being taken. The staging was functional and simple. All of the props onstage were used.
This was a great example of how to structure and perform for children. I really enjoyed the whole experience and the interesting use of theatrical devices works very well. At the beginning of the day, if I told you to go and watch a man put the lid of a pen on that pen after reciting the months of the year in order, you would ask if it was some weird avant garde theatre nonsense. It happened, I was there and I would recommend a visit.