Brighton Fringe 2009
The Invincible Man
Tup Tup Tup
Venue: Hive @ The Brunswick
Festival: Brighton Fringe
Tarquin the director of a new show ‘The Invincible Man’ is stressed! The actors have dropped out, the producer is breathing down his neck, all the tickets have been sold and the programmes have been produced! Will he and his team of ushers pull the show together in time before the curtain comes up?
It was a strange start to the piece when I heard someone swearing like a soldier off-stage, but all became clear when a man only dressed in red boxer shorts stormed onto the stage panicing on a phone call! It was the actor Chris Matus playing the rather beautifully portrayed character of Tarquin – a very worried and stressed out director who has lost all his cast due to them walking out on him. Then the rest of the real cast comes on as the ushers working in the theatre who jump in to save the day. What happens from there on in is a surreal, funny and yet strangely sensitive show depicting the rollercoaster ride the all go on in order to get the show up and running in time before the curtain goes up!
The plot beautifully shifts between rehearsal and performance, letting the audience see what goes into a production behind the scenes, whilst entertaining us with weird and bizarre physical theatre, snappy comedy lines and some great songs. The play within a play in question is called ‘The Invincible Man’ following a man who tries to commit suicide and finds that after drinking a urine sample, he becomes more powerful and indestructable!
Nick Devlin who plays the title role is fantastic! When you first see him, he’s this mild and meek man who’s romantically involved with one of the other ushers, but when he goes into character, he becomes a totally different person – definitely an actor to watch out for.
There are times within the piece which are a little sketchy and need tightening up, but the vibrancy and energy of The Invincible Man more than make up for it! Especially the parts where it includes the cast doing surreal things with their bodies to create comedy. They become different objects occasionally – such as a canary, a kettle, a plant growing and odd characters depicting the state of people’s minds…
What makes this piece really good though is the sub-plot behind it – unrequited love between 2 members of the cast! Amy Sutton is stunning here – her sensitive portrayal of a woman who’s shy and blends into the background lusting after a young man who’s interested in someone else. The young man is played by Inte Conde – a happy go lucky chap who is in love with his best friend, who is involved with ‘The Invincible Man’!!! This is a wonderful naturalistically portrayed contrast to the slap-stick comedy!
This is a show that is not to be missed! It’s a shame that this is only on until 2nd May (tomorrow at the time of writing) as this would be a massive hit if continued! Go and see it!!!