Blame it on Frederick

It’s the end of the world in this brand new venue – Norm – in Brunswick, and two time travelling detectives arrive on a desolate planet to track down Frederick, the last man on earth.  And apparently he’s to blame for this apocalypse, a fact that, after a bit of poking and prodding, Frederick is only too happy to share. Told mostly in monologue and reenactments, Frederick recounts how his habit of seducing women at bus stops (especially the ‘crazy’ ones) and not speaking to them in the morning, brought about a mass revenge from womankind in the form of stealing all of the books from men’s bookshelves that were put there as a seduction technique to seem deep and sensitive to women in the first place, before hiring said books back to said men at hideously inflated prices.  Chaos ensues spurred by a galled patriarchy.

This show will not be the hit of the festival, but nor was it a show that fulfilled my worried expectations when I saw the space.  It is sometimes offputting for the front of house staff to be a vague presence, and for a free show to start fifteen minutes late, but despite a rickety start the theatremakers show promise, with some rather lovely passages, and a thoughtful concept driving the piece.

I would suggest that the actors should have been given more in developing their characters early on, as it sometimes seemed like they were being treated more as mouthpieces for the script rather than interesting characters in their own right. The projections, which seemed a cornerstone for this show were thoughtful pauses that gave the limits of the venue an extra dimension.  It is that distance between performance art, where actors as moving props is sometimes permissible, and theatre, where actors are integral to a complete performance, that needs to be worked on for new shows such as these.

The general execution of the show was indeed shambolic, but not unforgiveable, especially in the context of Fringe, when artists are supposed to be trying new things out. This was not groundbreaking theatre, but showed some interesting ideas that should be developed further.

See the original post on Beat here

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