Skin of the Teeth (4 stars)

Darkly magical solo show about a boy who sets out to discover his sense of fear

Skin of the Teeth

credit: Richard Davenport

The teeth that fearless young Nicholas discovers clattering around in his supermarket workplace are a message: to follow the man with green gloves, and to head to the big city to discover his sense of fear.

It's been a while since theatre company Fat Content did a Fringe show, following their vivid if oblique The Man I Cure in 2008 and The Gannet in 2009. After solo work and study, the trio of performer/writer/directors have regrouped for Skin of the Teeth, a mature solo fairytale-cum-thriller that retains its predecessors' unhinged imagination yet dares to be more direct and immediate.

And it's a spellbinding piece of work, full of magic yet with a sense of threat never far from the surface. Daniel Holme gives a beautifully nuanced but assertive performance as the wide-eyed, manipulated Nicholas, with pinpoint direction from Rachel Lincoln.

But it's Anna Beecher's tough, hallucinatory writing that sticks in the mind, as she summons up dark images of run-down shopping centres and ritualistic dog-fights where the young man tests his courage, and slowly unveils the show's themes of trauma and loss of innocence. At times, it could do with more breathing space to allow its fantastical imagery to truly hit home, but it's an hour of storytelling theatre that's as unsettling as it is bewitching.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug (not 16), 3.15pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10).

Skin of the Teeth

  • 4 stars

Fat Content Thriller meets fairy tale. Nineteen-year-old Nicholas finds a fistful of teeth and is propelled into a perilous world of manipulation, ritual and dangerous men. 'Startlingly innovative' (Fest) Fat Content return to the Fringe with award-winning poet and playwright Anna Beecher's searing retelling of The Boy…


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