Fringe Online 2020
Peter Mullan performs a solo piece from Douglas Maxwell where he muses on an encounter with crows and a pigeon as they complain at his door over the lack of Fat Balls being provided by him for feeding in his garden. He manages to get dressed and visit the toilet whilst musing over to whom the garden belongs and why the head crow is so aggressive. Due to the encounter he goes online, gets more Fat Balls but leaves them a tasteless twist in the end that shows just who may be the boss.
Peter Mullan nails an exceptional performance that manages to disturb and show off some dexterous camera skills which add to the story. It is a highly effective allegory of someone being challenged at their own front door by the aggressive local community. The text is clever and balanced as it manages to use that allegory to show how our interdependence exists in a fragile fashion.
Mullan is too experienced a performer not to be able to nail it but the man who turned Gi’es a cuddle into a threat in a Channel 4 series is uncannily cowed and expressive in his interactions with the craw. It’s subtle and authentic as he plays all parts with equal gusto. I love the pigeon whilst the craw is etched on the face of many an early teenager I have encountered.
His use of the camera in one – a la 1917, but without any breaks – is not just critical but give enough added jeopardy to wonder if he would ever drop it – he doesn’t. I might not have ever wanted to see Mullan on the toilet but being disturbed by the sight, adds to the effect of seeing him naked in this encounter and the disturbance of the craws. Getting dressed and seeing the house in which he lives also adds to the storyline as we see the normal and what is being protected.
The ending, however, is sheer Russian Roulette brought up to date and leaves you in awe of a marvelous mix of the creative and wonderful in a lockdown tale well worth the telling. So go and fill yer beaks…