Edinburgh Fringe 2017
“Hear me roar! In a world full of sound and fury, and bells and whistles, one woman is ready to listen. Cutting through the confusion and finding meaning in the madness, this vital and dynamic show proves that we can say exactly what we want when we simply shut the hell up. Physical theatre is blended with dry wit, steely determination, and a shockingly limited vocabulary. Heather-Rose Andrews and Andrew Allen bring you the latest show from Cast Iron Theatre.”
Cast Iron Theatre’s new show features Heather-Rose Andrews. She plays a zany larger than life character who performs several short solo physical theatre sketches over the span of the fifty five minute show.
She relates directly to the audience, often speaking a sort of gibberish, which is intriguing. Wearing headphones, plus a stylish black suit with big wavy hair, she welcomes us and begins communicating in her special type of language. Excited to do the show, Andrews does a brief eccentric dance followed by circus music.
The character is based in clown and mime, and she is very eager to entertain. As a physical performer, Andrews is adept when miming with her crisp gestures and nimble fingers. When music plays that is fluid or zippy her flexible and bendy movement is also fluid or zippy. She does dialogue as two characters at once and is able to switch back and forth staying in character, going from elegant to brassy attitudes.
Andrews has big expressive eyes and a wide smile – and she knows how to use these physical aspects throughout the show. Her exaggerated facial gestures communicate what’s happening as well as show her character’s humour when she gives the audience a sideways glance or nod of the head. These moments are important because they draw us into her world, which is fast moving. This world is indeed a cacophony – of charming mischief, her vocal clicking sound effects that accompany a lot of the mime, plus its full of humorous situations and interactions with different people as she goes about her day. Her character is one of those that’s prone to become involved with stuff, with funny results.
Among the many short scenes, some of the amusing moments are when a sweet song gets interrupted a few times, it’s very funny, or when she finds an imaginative way to sleep for a few seconds, the bit with the dog, and many more! Speaking few words throughout, Andrews has fun onstage, she is ready with gags, pratfalls, mimed stories and audience interaction.
Cast Iron Theatre have a solid foundation from where to further develop this show in order to take it to the next level. It does take a while to fully understand or be drawn into some of the fast changing sketches in the first half, specially the mimed stories with the vocal sounds – these could benefit from some editing for clarity and timing. The second half, particularly when incorporating simple props flows well, to the end. The pacing of the show has settled by then for both performer and viewer and is successful in intent and execution. Andrews works hard and could be even more effective by expending less and toning her energy down sometimes, so the audience has time to appreciate her creativity.
This is a recommended show, it’s energetic, bold, entertaining and fun!