One of the most grievous losses from the Edinburgh Fringe landscape
this year is Aurora Nova, a venue where one simply tried to catch as
much of the programme of international visual and physical theatre as
possible. Venue director Wolfgang Hoffman hopes that, after a year’s
lay-off, Aurora Nova will be sufficiently bankrolled to return in 2009.
In the meantime, the mini-empire of Zoo venues has gone some way
towards filling the gap.
Korean company Cho-In Theatre’s The
Angel And The Woodcutter
is a deceptive piece of wordless
movement theatre. It begins as an almost saccharine folk tale, in which
a devil-may-care young woodsman takes a wife and domestic tensions
arise with his ageing mother. Gradually the piece grows darker, until
these figures find themselves amid a war: rape, torture, prostitution
and death are portrayed with exactly the same grace and precision. The
effect is chilling.
by the young
company Precarious (not to be confused with the production of the same
name at the Pleasance, about which I have previously waxed wroth) is a
tremendous piece of multimedia work depicting a future dystopia of
world-as-factory, in which all that matters are efficient output and
administrative ruthlessness. Both in their visual content and in the
inventiveness of their projection, the video components of the show are
among the most impressive I have seen in years at any level of work.
The company’s physical movement is adept, and once they find a spoken
voice to match these ingredients (the text here is an overwritten
mishmash of Berkoffian-epic and a generous dusting of literary
allusions) they will be extraordinary.
One of a batch of Czech productions scattered across several venues,
Skutr’s The Weepers
thing of beauty. Traditional Czech songs of mourning and other
occasions of departure intermingle with scenes of individuals, couples
and the ensemble of seven engaging in acts of simple human connection,
from love and marriage to shadow-play and even a game of tag. The
company achieve a warm rapport with the audience by dint of treating
the whole event as playful and serious at once; we can luxuriate even
in the more funereal segments, knowing that these are experiences and
emotions felt by all of us alike and drawing comfort and strength from
Written for the Financial