by guest critic Amy Toledano
Francesca Beard delves into the complex subject of truth and looks at how it could be perceived in a post-apocalyptic world. Using spoken word (which Beard is clearly a pro at) as well as song and multimedia imagery, the audience takes a journey with their Shaman and guide Francesca who hopes to lead them to the real meaning of truth.
While the concept of the show is intriguing and thought-provoking, the piece itself lacks the energy needed to keep it afloat. It is not clear exactly what is happening a lot of the time and though Beard is charming to watch, this is not always enough to forgive the fact that more often than not the piece feels a little lost.
The stronger moments are the quiet and moving spoken word poems Beard delivers with a reverence that can only be managed by the poet herself. The beautiful use of language to create layered images for the audience is lovely and could easily be a stand-alone show.
It is clear that Beard has a deep love for the piece, and her dry brand of humour makes the quirky show that much more entertaining to watch, but her nervous energy is at times a little distracting. This may perhaps have been a character choice, but unfortunately it doesn’t read as such and leaves a feeling of unease amongst the audience.
Beard’s ambitious work makes for many great moments and has potential to soar as a brilliant one-woman show, and its format’s inventiveness is one that is memorable and charming. Beard is a multi-talented performer who clearly has a lot more to give.
How to Survive a Post-Truth Apocalypse runs through 19 May.
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