- Matt Trueman
- 13 August 2012
This article is from 2012.
Theatrical brain feast that holds the attention span
What sets Thin Ice apart is not so much its narrative – a disjointed love triangle between academics in the Arctic Circle – as its remarkable depth of thinking. Beneath the slight surface, it’s as dense and tightly packed as a glacier.
What’s strange is that, at the same time, it seems so lightweight. The plot is a little too neat, perhaps; always well-constructed story, never quite life-like; the staging, a little straightforward, missing a bit of rip-roaring theatrical firepower.
And yet, Shams' writer-director Jonathan Young festoons it with big ideas, all connected with admirable elegance, without suffocating the story. Not lightweight, perhaps, but fleet-footed.
As the Nazis are reconfiguring Europe, German expat Professor Steinberg is testing the ice’s constancy. Young smartly parallels the race for Lebensraum with the displacement of Greenland’s indigenous tribes by various scientific communities and neatly plays rational scepticism off against native belief systems. Chuck in notions of history, political ideology and climate change and you’ve got a hefty brain-feast that more than holds the attention for 90 minutes – a rare Fringe feat.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug (not 21), 11.45am, £9--£10 (£8--£9).