Snails and Ketchup
Dynamic one-man Calvino adaptation
This article is from 2011.
This version of Italo Calvino’s story The Baron in the Trees dispenses with the verbal action and substitutes physical theatre, multimedia and acrobatics to tell its story. Ramesh Meyyappan gives a dynamic performance, transforming into several characters within a dysfunctional family, one of whose members decides to live among the trees of a forest, to the caterpillars and snails of the forest itself.
There’s plenty of skilled mime involved as well as some pretty scary hanging from ropes and platforms. Meanwhile, Tze Toh’s live score on an electric piano is evocative, capturing both the humour and delicate pathos of the situation and working cleverly with Meyyappan’s athletic and nuanced performance. There’s good deal to enjoy over the hour’s span of this piece, but it does, having set out its limits early on, begin to look a little repetitive towards its end. That said, such scenes as that involving the birth of twins to the mother bring some real verve to the evening.
New Town Theatre, 220 0143, until 28 Aug (not 23), 5pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11).