The Duck Pond
Pacy and poignant re-telling of Swan Lake at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
Theatre company withWings certainly knows how to pack a stage. A fairground set, live band, dance, theatre, comedy, tragedy, dodgems and the moon on a stick; they’re all in this sweet and pacy re-working of the tale that inspired Swan Lake.
Prince Siegfried visits a fair owned by sinister Rothbart on his 21st birthday, plucks a plastic duck from the hook-a-duck stall and ends up encountering the love of his life in a handsome spellbound young man. Weaving through this is a mischievous chorus bent on changing the end of the story – and strictly monitoring any references to swans.
The chorus (as well as the chemistry of the two leads, which sparks some enchanting duets)- are the force that carries this production. Filmic montage scenes chart the relationship of the lovers, mingling parody with something genuinely warm; deadpan humour and nudging references to Tchaikovsky are played out, sometimes with delightful ingenuity. While the Prince’s brilliantly conceived dance of pain contains something you rarely see – a man en pointe.
As a trade-off for the earlier tomfoolery, it does feel like the story doesn’t have much room to breathe. The dialogue gets to the point jolly quickly in each scene, and you do end up wondering what priority the company has placed on storytelling versus innovation.
Bedlam Theatre, 629 0430, until 24 Aug, 6pm, £8 (£7).