Pigeons on L’edge, VAULT Festival

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By Evangeline Cullingworth

Humans stuck in the horrors of a customer-facing job can rest safe in the knowledge that they are being protected by a fleet of pigeons. What did you think they were doing perched out there on the windowsill all day? They are obviously keeping watch over us.  In their time, these pigeons have seen a lot. And what an honour it is to spend an evening with Prue and Priscilla, two talented nest-mates, as they dramatized the thrills of their espionage.

Gabrielle Sheppard and Millie Thorne are a sharp and quick double act, each supporting the other in scenes where one of them takes the lead and plays with a brilliant rhythm. An array of accents and personalities take the rather grey setting of pigeons on a rainy day into a sparkling story of friendship, trust and good people who have been pushed to the edge.

The clever play-within-a-play device ensures none of us take anything too seriously, and anyone who’s ever worked in retail (“a lot of standing around and crying”) will relish the details of Hark’s and Lark’s clearance section. Tiny touches and details, such as Priscilla’s identity crisis manifesting in her sleep-talking a cockerel wake-up call, continue to surprise and delight throughout. Prue and Priscilla have every right to be proud of their cardboard set design, and the use of declamatory placards, a la Brecht, is perfectly pitched.

Pigeons on L’edge is an irreverent character comedy that binds its audience together and “in this current climate” it serves as a perfect reminder that community can weather any storm.

Pigeons on L’edge runs through 15 March.

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