The Cagebirds Review
Fringe regulars will be aware of the pitfalls when choosing performances. The sheer number of shows coupled with the ever increasing prices mean the average theatre goer is more wary when considering newly adapted works. Out of two-thousand-odd productions, to be average is the worst thing. Sadly, that is exactly where New Celts Productions and 41st 92nd theatre’s The Cagebirds lands.
Adapted from David Campton’s absurdist classic, The Cagebirds centres on the lives of six birds, each representing an aspect of our social characters. They live in their own little world, looked after by the Mistress, and they seemingly talk with one another but never actually communicate.
They believe they are happy until ‘the Wild One’ is introduced. This intruder is everything the others are not. She thinks, she argues, she yearns for freedom. The caged life is not for her. The revolutionary wild one wants nothing more than all this for her fellow birds, too.
Campton’s original production from 1973 was considered revolutionary. Sadly, as the years have passed, the play’s message has become slightly stale and a straight adaptation does not necessarily work. The characters, represented by women, come across as stereotypes of that sex rather than barbs at society.
On the plus side, the performances by the young cast are excellent, especially from Wild One Kimberly Gray, whose attempts to cajole and provoke her fellow avians into action leave you wishing they’d show a little more heart.
There is nothing particularly wrong with The Cagebirds. The performances are sound, the story is uncomplicated and the message is clear. It’s just not very interesting any more.
Show Times: 6 – 26 August (Not 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23) 2:50pm
Ticket £9.50 (£7.50 conc)