Ambitious production fails to spring to life
This article is from 2012.
Our unnamed protagonist, obsessed by order and routine, returns home from work to discover a stranger in his house. So he makes him a cup of tea. But that’s the least of his worries: the talking wallpaper seems to have opinions on everything, and his only hope for salvation lies in a bird-feeding woman and her madeira cake.
Fat Git Theatre’s enigmatic show, an adaptation of the novella of the same name by Tyneside writer Peter Mortimer, seems to belong in the same English absurdist tradition as NF Simpson, but it has a far darker edge than that writer’s surreal whimsy. It’s an ambitious production, with live sound effects, an elaborate set and costumes, and a cast of seven, but ultimately it feels a little thin and spun-out at its hour length. There’s probably a message about spontaneity threatening comfortable routine in there somewhere, but it’s rather hidden among the lengthy pauses and rather approximate acting. It’s an intriguing tale, but it needs a tighter and more compelling production than this one to bring it properly to life.
Bedlam Theatre, 225 9893, until 25 Aug, 2pm, £8 (£7).