Edinburgh show Snails and Ketchup keeps focus on storytelling

This article is from 2011

Edinburgh show Snails and Ketchup keeps focus on storytelling

Darkly comic story told through aerial choreography

‘For me the narrative and the characters are crucial,’ says Glasgow-based Singaporean physical theatre performer Ramesh Meyyappan. ‘I’ve got to be able to see how their journeys would work in a theatrical setting.’

Meyyappan’s set himself quite a challenge with his new show, Snails and Ketchup. Based on a darkly comic story by Italo Calvino, ‘The Baron in the Trees’, and developed with vertiginous performance company Iron-Oxide, it’s about a boy who abandons his dysfunctional family and makes a new home for himself high up in the canopy of a forest. That synopsis might sound like it perfectly suits Meyyappan’s skills, but in order to ‘stage’ it he had to learn the art of aerial choreography.

‘It is a challenge to ensure I’m not just showing off tricks on the ropes,’ Meyyappan says, ‘but that I’m letting the story unfold through the characters. If people want to interpret this metaphorically they can. For the boy the environment of the trees seems less brutal than that of his home life. So Snails and Ketchup does stress the resilience that many children from those types of brutal environments show.’

New Town Theatre, 220 0143, 6–28 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), 5pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11). Previews 4 & 5 Aug, £7.50.

snails and ketchup v4.mp4

Snails and Ketchup

  • 3 stars

Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Baron in the Trees, this is the darkly comic tale of a dysfunctional, quirky family and follows a disillusioned son taking to the trees to live an arboreal existence in disgust at his ever changing, brutal home environment. Powerfully told through solo performer Ramesh Meyyappan’s masterful…