Edinburgh show Snails and Ketchup keeps focus on storytelling
Darkly comic story told through aerial choreography
This article is from 2011.
‘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.