Many of us crave the escape from mundane routine that a holiday abroad gives us. Sun, sand, great food and immersion in different cultures are all wonderful experiences – usually. There absolutely can be downsides. Using clowning and mime, David Hoskin presents the annoying (sunburn and fellow travellers), the uncertain (whether or not a dubious-looking meal will hurt you), and the down-right strange and terrible (getting stranded in the woods and threatened by wild animals). Hoskin’s physical performance is exceptional, though the narrative’s shift into the surreal is less effectively conveyed than other parts of the story.
Snowflake is a one-woman show written and performed by Hanna Winter. Presented as a physical monologue, it tries to unpack the personal impact of intergenerational trauma through the lens of comedy and absurdism. Through continuous audience interaction, the boundaries between fiction and reality are constantly being blurred, creating a show that ultimately ridicules self-indulgent performative art.
As writer and performer Kim Scopes points out, bisexual representation on our stages and screens is limited. When a bisexual character appears at all, they are usually defined by their sexual activity and reduced to shallow, biphobic stereotypes. So a whole show about being attracted to more than one gender, made by a bisexual/queer person, is hugely exciting. Unfortunately, despite many great ideas and individual moments of excellent execution, this production feels like a disjointed work-in-progress with sections that only tenuously connect to each other.
Brought to us by ChewBoy Productions, Tethered, Or the Adventures of the Adequately Excited People is a surrealist, dark comedy about isolation, hope(lessness) and the effects of relying on others while searching for freedom. Written by Georgie Bailey and told through a series of short scenes, Tethered unfolds as a play within a play that jumps back and forth in a metatheatrical game, with a tone ranging from running-commentary comedy to meaning-searching existentialism.
It’s third time lucky for this performance piece at the Pleasance Theatre, having been previously programmed and then postponed twice due to the UK’s two lockdowns. It very much turns out to be worth the wait however, as this is a fascinating and thought provoking show.