Tiger, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Lucy Bailie

Grief is unfortunately inevitable for us all, but what we don’t know is how it will affect us. We could sink to the bottom of a black hole and see no way out, or we could decide to live as a seven-foot tiger for the rest of our lives.

Joe Eyre’s Tiger, directed by Will Maynard follows Alice and Oli. Alice is a comedian who has taken time off work to come to terms with the death of her father. The couple are looking for a new flatmate to help lighten the load of the mortgage and bills. Their new flatmate turns out to be Tiger, an American dressed in a tiger costume who loves cheesecake. Tiger seems to be just what Alice needs as the two share a childlike friendship, playing games and forgetting about the outside world together. But this has a negative effect on Oli ,who feels that Alice is neglecting real life and ignoring her responsibilities. The piece shows not only the strain grief can have on individuals, but also on the others around them.

With minimal set and props, the actors have plenty of space to create their world, taking us with them through their flat and up to the roof garden. The use of movement montages effectively moving us through the piece are a nice break from the story’s tension. Tiger strikes a great balance between highly emotional drama and the comedy of a man dressed as a tiger, doing yoga.

Tiger runs through 18 February.

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