The three Fringe World shows now at PICA all push the boundaries of theatre. I can't say they are also all successful as art and entertainment.
The first, Minnie and Mona, dances - sometimes playfully, sometimes frantically - around the hard topic of suicide. The performers, Gita Bezard and Arielle Gray, operate on shifting layers of reality, playing themselves, writer Jeffrey Jay Fowler and director Kathryn Osborne, and their characters.
In less assured and skilful hands, these shifts might become muddy and confusing, but Fowler constructed his script adeptly, Osborne maintains firm control throughout and, in Bezard and Gray, they have two of the town's most intelligent and fearless actors to work with.
Minnie and Mona is very funny, very fierce and very sad; it's a finely cut Fringe festival gem.
The idea behind Bron Batten's Sweet Child of Mine is clever enough: tell the story of her life and career, her parents and her relationship with them, and have them perform it with her.
We have extended interrogations of the older Battens on screen, while Dad joins Bron on stage from time to time. The difficulty is that the set-up, and those effective scenes that result, are all achieved in short order. The rest is awkward, repetitive and rambling.
The Battens are lovely people, cut straight from the cloth of our modest, suburban nation, and their daughter is brave and interesting, but Sweet Child of Mine felt a bit like a family slide night, and it didn't take long for me to start checking my watch.
When Venice finally sinks beneath its lagoon, let's hope it takes all the sullen, erotic mysteries it has inspired with it. Humphrey Bower's Masks is the latest member of a sub-genre that stretches from Thomas Mann to Mills and Boon, and ultimately it's as tedious as the rest.
Bower (Blackbirds, Wish, Skin) has a marvellous voice, and writes with strong command, but, for me at least, Masks would be more effective on radio than on stage, where its lack of action and dialogue are real limitations.
It would be a shame, though, that it couldn't take Danielle Micich on to the wireless with it. Micich's dancing is all sinew and muscle and, along with Ashley de Prazer's polished visuals, it's the best thing in this somewhat glum, misplaced piece.
An amazing review for production by Rachel Wright @timeforsomerr of #411VOICES #FringeFestival http://t.co/y04YdFBOBY #Musical
An amazing review for production by Rachel Wright @timeforsomerr of #411VOICES #FringeFestival http://t.co/p3X1MRZqs5 #Musical
Love tattoos? Check out these embroidered tattoos by Jenny King and Co... http://t.co/pnOqj12i86 #Brighton #art #BeyondRetro #FringeFestival
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