|Edinburgh : A&E : Festivals : Fringe Reviews|
None = Unmissable
Page number refers to the Fringe programme
I'll Sell the House In Which I Can Live No More. (Page 70).
Drams None, someone please give these people Fringe First.
Venue C. (Venue 34)<.
Address Chambers Street.
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat.
As the audience enters the auditorium they are greeted by constant whistling of the passing train, the metaphor for the life's fast moving cycle. The stage is in semi-dark, only barely visible is the glimpse of boxes and suitcases abandoned at an empty station. Then five figures appear from the shadows - and the weird and wonderful journey begins.
I'll Sell the House in which I Can't Live Any More was inspired by the life, work and death of Bohumil Hrabal, a manual labourer in Kladno ironworks, a law graduate from Prague's Charles University, and - above all - the legendary Czech author whose hyper-realist novels set on fire the Czech literary circles. In this show, without a single word being spoken Teatr KTO (Who) successfully captures Hrabal's bawdy wit, sumptious imagery and political ambiguities through the characters who look as if they have jumped out of his novels - quirky fools enjoying life, the unlikely embodiments of universal truths.
This is a richly dark tale, filled in equal measure with humour and sorrow and saturated in Catholic imagery in its depiction of life's milestones (the birth, baptisms, confirmations, confessions, weddings, funerals, departures). Between scenes, the puppet master wheels in a bizarre little puppet booth with cutout images of faraway places and with this he enacts their sanguine histories - a further reminder that one's whole life is nothing more than an illusion.
The ensemble's performances are dynamic, spellbinding and irresistible. There are constant surprises along the way that will entertain you, draw a tear from your eye, amaze you, and make you leave the theatre with the feeling that you have just seen something exciting and truly magical. Do not miss this show.
Note about the Company: Teatr KTO was established in 1985 by a group of graduates from the Jaciellonian University in Krakow whose interest in street theatre has its roots in the medieval Polish theatre with its elements of mime, clowning, pyrotechnics and spectacle. The company has since earned its considerable reputation with street spectacles such as Paradis (1983), Don Giovanni (1987) and Installation I - Sutor (1999). They successfully performed their shows in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.
©Ksenija Horvat. 11 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com
Runs to 29 August at 13:15 (every day).
Company - Teatr KTO.
Company Website - www.teatrkto.pl
ImMortal2. (Page 70).
Venue The Big Top at The Out Of The Blue Tramworks (Venue 171).
Address Shrub Place, Leith Walk.
Reviewer Ruth Clowes.
In the slaughterhouse, a vast holding bay for souls, a hedonistic party is taking place as human beings gorge themselves on sensual pleasure in a frenzied quest to realise true happiness before they continue their journey to the next life. Traditional circus acts such as trapeze, high-wire and juggling are interspersed with dance and montage sequences as we follow the progress of a new arrival to the frenetic gathering.
The audience is encouraged to move around the tent during the performance, experiencing the show at much closer quarters than would be possible in a traditional setting. This does cause a few problems though, shorter audience members may not be able to see all the action, and if you are taking a small child bear in mind that you will have him or her sat on your shoulders for the best part of two hours. This is certainly not a show for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia, or those who like the sitting- down aspect of traditional theatre, even the bar area is completely devoid of seating. Additionally, sections of audio, particularly speech, are often indistinct, which is unfortunate as this leads to the audience missing out on much of the fascinating and complex narrative which is at the core of the production.
Aside from these decidedly party- pooping gripes, this is a truly spectacular, breathtaking show, with sensational live music and a heady concentration of talented, flamboyant performers.
© Ruth Clowes 7 August 2005 - Published on EdinburghGuide.com.
Runs to 29 August (not 8, 15, 22) 9-14, 16-21, 23-28 at 20:00, 10, 13-14, 17, 20-21, 24, 27-29 at 15:00
Company - nofitstate Circus.
Company Website - www.nofitstate.com