Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2000

The Ridiculusmus company David Woods and Jon Hough have grown in skill and stature in the eight years I have been watching them. Now based in Belfast, they have garnered Fringe acclaim in the last couple of years for the exuberant surreality of recent shows The Exhibitionists and Yes Yes Yes (the latter of which can be seen again during the final week of this year's Fringe).

Their new show Say Nothing is solid Ridiculusmus fare, but not as wonderful as might have been hoped. Woods is Kevin, an expatriate Ulsterman now returned with a doctorate in Peace and Conflict Studies to do community work and research; Hough plays a variety of other characters, most notably a mimsy Donegal landlady and an office caretaker in East Belfast who gabbles his remarks at high speed. The two stand for the entire hour of the show in a turf-filled suitcase, whilst a third performer priodically creeps behind them as a variety of terrorists, policemen and victims. It's both funny and clever (although an ear for the Belfast accent helps), and creeps gradually towards a darker ending, but the various pieces don't quite build in the way the company evidently hoped.

Written for the Financial Times Web site,

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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