★★★★★, Dance and Physical Theatre
Venue: Zoo Roxy
Astounding. This play is tagged as a piece of physical theatre, but this does not do justice to the multi-media and multi-talented cast that take us on a journey through the lives of several different men. The set is remarkably simple but takes us through a variety of scenarios and demonstrates how minimalist sets can be turned to inventive ends.
The piece is a series of unlinked narratives, that require the cast to adopt a variety of well drawn personae. The witchy teacher is a particular favourite, but only one of many different identities that the strong ensemble cast bring to life. The stories weave across time and space but all acknowledge the central theme of how men identify themselves, and how they often get it wrong. The abuse of power, the inability to communicate, the struggle to do the right thing, and how experience shape us, all of them are explored and the audience are moved adroitly from laughter to shock and shared sadness.
The sections of pure physical theatre serve to expand on the theme by expressing some of the more directly physical elements of masculine identity and work well within the broader context of the piece. The finale provides echoes from the opening and from key moments throughout the play which evoke the diverse emotional topography that you have just traversed with them.
An outstanding piece with a very strong cast who sing, act and move with determination and grace.