Welsh Company ‘Shock and Awe’ bring a production to the Fringe which is intelligent, beautiful and very personal. It’s one of the productions which have come to define Zoo’s place with in the heart of the fringe.
The story is built around a series of interview undertaken by the writer and director asking the question what defines masculinity? The results were astonishing as no two people ever answered the same. What the company have done is used the power of physical movement with comedy and dose of reality to present those stories as a collective. It’s still very much a work in progress and always will be, what one person sees today is different from what one will see in the future. Muscle will continue to involve in this manner.
The stories I encountered ranged from Catholics indulging in sexual intercourse much to the disgust of the local father right through to a man’s abuse of his family and a son breaking his heart to hold that family together no matter what.
The movement aspect of the production is beautiful as poetry in motion and complete captivates the mind as does the striking direction and use of projected visuals across a set consisting of movable gauze panels. The 5 male performers are excellent as they slip between characters both male and female and effortlessly pull of the physical element. For me especially Lewis Reeves excels in this his first professional production with wonderful physical presence and acting talent. In terms of sheer acting alone Lee Mengo is also a performer to watch out for.
The whole production reminds me of the poet Dylan, “do not go quietly unto that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light” This examination of Masculinity will capture the heart of those who see it, so don’t miss out.