The Bird and the Bee: The Bird
Tales of love and abuse
This article is from 2008.
It almost goes without saying that abusive behaviour visited upon a person in childhood can lead to dysfunction later in life. This idea is explored in this second part of successive companion pieces at the Fringe from Kandinsky, whose earlier work includes such exceptional dramas as Enola.
A teenage boy speaks to his mother, a Russian émigré prostitute, of his first love, after both mother and son have endured a life of great travail, much of it confined to the cramped brothel they inhabit. Here, the forms of love that emerge from appalling circumstance create a child without emotional structure, whose mathematical gifts are employed to malicious and eventually sadly ironic ends.
For all its dark introspection, Al Smith’s four-hander fails to bring enough originality or insight into its story to convince, while at times its poetic, metaphorical language gets trodden underfoot. The performances too are a little uneven in places, and, by the end, it’s difficult to care for these characters.
Underbelly, 0844 545 8252, until 24 Aug, 5.40pm, £9–£10.50 (£8–£9.50).