Threnody for the Sky Children
A zombie apocalypse romantic comedy epic poem at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Although Jack Dean’s epic poem covers zombie apocalypse, the anguish of failed love and the ravings of ‘philosophical pervert’ Slavoj Zizek, his attention to metaphorical detail and intimate performance make Threnody a touching, and emotive hour. Weaving spectacular tales of the future – which involve the USA finally occupying a zombie infested UK – with a simple narrative about emotional idiocy, Dean is a poet of both the large and the small.
Presenting the adventures as his own – although whether Dean is as insensitive as his persona is questionable, given his obvious linguistic skills – Dean makes a series of trenchant points about the ability of men to invent massive, spurious narratives to hide their failings. Pacing about the stage, which doubles as parental attic and a village disrupted by monsters, Dean muses on his past and trembles against the future.
The dynamic structure leaps between times, places and people with ease – although some of Zizek’s routines are appropriately random – and Dean links together the various stories, concluding with a heart rending recognition of his own complicity in his failure. His delight in metaphor and the final revelation makes this a surprising and understated triumph.
Electric Circus, 226 4224, until 22 Aug (not 9, 10, 16, 17), 11.30am, free.