City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Giant, Pleasance Courtyard, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 25 August 2016

GIANT by Human Zoo - Photographed by The Other Richard.
Show details
The Human Zoo Theatre Company
Running time: 
Co-written and devised by The Human Zoo ensemble. Mark Aspinall (sound designer), Ellan Parry (designer), Lucy Archbould (Associate Designer).
Tommy: Freddie Crossley (Tommy), Rosalind Hoy (Margaret), Hedley Roach (Jeff), Fleur Rooth (Julie), Nick Gilbert (Ethan), Florence O’Mahony (Alex).

Cast your eyes back to the dawn of time, all around there is nothing, just an empty universe.

Or perhaps it started with a box, full of millions of other smaller boxes. That would explain why people carry so much stuff around. Tommy and his multi-generational extended family stay in a nice house, with a great attic; perfect for a lot of stuff in boxes and perhaps something more enormous.

This ensemble piece has a resolutely Vaudevillian feel as the white-faced and rouge-cheeked actors take us through quick fire routines. In a fluid montage we see grandparents Margaret and Jeff, date, betroth and marry. “It’s all happening quite fast!”, she exclaims.

She hasn’t seen anything yet, as children, Tommy and Julie, and yet more boxes are added. A generation passes in the time it takes for a couple of cabaret acts and Julie is expecting a child of her own while Tommy is off to university.

A whole summer with the family together will allow Tommy to decide on his future and whether he is really suited to a role as Junior Administrator working with Uncle Ethan in the cardboard box distribution business.

Both he and intern girlfriend Alex feel pressured by an ever faster spinning world and a need to be on trend and achieve. The question is whether anything is really new, and what do we do with all that stuff that has been collecting since the dawn of time?

This is a fun, fast paced and visually inventive production with some strong ensemble pieces involving movement and live music. The story, for all its ambition is fairly thin and some of the cabaret-style sections don’t move it forward.

The scope is sprawling rather than gigantic.

Show Times: 3 – 29 (not 15) August 2016 at 3.40pm.

Tickets: £6.50 to £11 (£32 family).