Brighton Fringe 2016
This is an enchanting fairy tale performed by five young, physically expressive actors. As one enters the theatre four of the travelling troupe are seen bickering in a car because they are lost in the night in a forest while one of them plays his accordion. The lights go down and the audience are told they can fidget, wander about or pop out to the loo if they like. It was an amusing contrast to watching the audience going into see a comedy show in the Komedia mainhouse who were told that there were rules of entry.
The tale begins…….
The show starts and we discover that this troupe of actors are on their way to perform at Brighton Fringe but their car crashes and Luna, the head of the troupe, decides that they should perform in the forest in front of an imaginary audience. What follows is five enchanting stories expressed verbally or in song by each of the characters involving journeys to or from the stars which end in unfortunate ways. The characters are all very different from each other. Luna is the boss and very much in charge. Scarlett is very dizzy in an enchanting way. Selena is more down to earth and usually wants her own way. Chris has a good rapport with the audience and a twinkle in his eyes.
Jack is the warmest of the characters and arouses much sympathy from the audience especially in the song about where he came from. The stories are played with imagination and much physicality. Some puppets are used including a very funny depiction of Selena climbing a mountain to get to the sun.
The interchanges between the actors are snappy and movements performed with precision. There are songs and music, even a Cold Play song, arranged by Mark Aspinall and played mostly by Jack on accordion and guitar. The lighting is very effective especially when moonshine and stars are brought into the theatre. Subtle gestures from the actors combined with subtle lighting changes enhances their clown make up. The stories which I think must have been devised in rehearsal were quaint and well performed in the intimate Komedia studio.
The whole play is really a fairy tale for adults as I think the concepts in the stories may be a bit advanced for children. As part of their ‘imaginary’ audience, I was transported by the play which I very much enjoyed. The performance was a lovely contrast to many of the more serious plays in the Fringe and I thoroughly encourage people who enjoy an hour of escape to go to see it. The play will possibly not appeal to people wanting something deeper or more serious. Perhaps one day the company will devise a show with the same imagination and with more substance which will appeal to a wider audience. I will certainly be there.