by Emma Lamond
BIG is a fun, tongue-in-cheek look at society’s relationship with food, how we are perceived by others and our growing issues with mental health. This production seems to be in the early stages of its development, but with the correct support, has the potential to become a hilarious piece of theatre with a powerful commentary on dieting, wellbeing and celebrity culture – topics that are ever growing in importance and with impact on young people, and society more widely.
The production is playful in its absurdity with anthropomorphic food-men – a premise that steps just beyond believable – and a disembodied narrator of projected scene announcements that both sets the scene and comments on it, too. These artistic choices are bold and interesting to watch, plus they make for laughs that come easily from the audience. There is a need for the actors to further commit to this style, as there are moments where their tenacity seemed to dip – though this could be down to opening night nerves. In these moments the illusion of the narrative world slipped, and we are left looking at a set of actors who seemed unconvinced by their own performance. The story arc and characters in BIG are weird and wonderful, but they need to be carried by actors who truly believe in the brilliance of their own oddness. If this energy is more present in the piece, the audience will buy into the story more.
It is clear this show has been created with love, and everyone involved should be proud of the story it’s beginning to tell. With some further workshopping, a tightening of the script and a little more assuredness from the actors, BIG has the potential to be a large success.
BIG runs through 8 March.
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