Tall tales by candlelight
This article is from 2008.
Al Seed displays an enviable gift for storytelling alongside a physical prowess to rival Max Wall in this one-man show. A vibrant series of clowning tableaux breaks up this atmospheric tale within a tale, as Seed recounts the exploits of one of the world’s greatest storytellers, travelling across the universe and venturing through conversations with children and kings.
A pale-faced and black-mouthed Hanoverian Tweedledum, Seed’s lolloping gait resembles a stuffed bullfrog on pencil legs, his striking appearance adding to the shadowy humour as he seamlessly transforms from one grotesque character to another. As Seed is expert at controlling the machine of his body, this is as much an exploration of the physical nature of the self as it is a dark tavern tale, smoky, dank and candle-lit. Each wave of the hand or twitch of the pitch-stained mouth transforms the space, just as the storyteller’s words invade, take shape and grow in the mind.
If it all ultimately seems a bit lightweight in its concerns, Seed’s remarkable performance does more than enough to prevent boredom in the solitary darkness.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 11, 18), 3.40pm, £8–£9.50 (£6–£7).