The Chicken Trial

Johanna Koljonen

Ace Productions

Pleasance Courtyard

From 03 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: *

Review by Liam Blain

From over-the-top physical theatre to even stranger directorial choices, The Chicken Trial is a chaotic creation that just isn’t what its cracked up to be.

Set in what is supposed to be a Swedish Court of Law, but appears more like a basement auction, the show depicts the trial of Makode Linde  (Eunice Olumide) who for the sake of art has set six chickens free in the middle of a nightclub.

The production is advertised as a “documentary fantasy” however the juxtaposition of the two genres really conflict and what plays out is a confused showcase. There are a number of interesting points raised, questioning where art stops and reality begins (especially where animals are concerned). However, the over-the-top choreography and silly costumes really take away from the core ideas being scrutinised.

The play certainly gets louder and brasher as it continues on through the wild and weird court case. A man and a dog both dress as chickens and a scene where a defence lawyer and a witness (both played by Aaron Usher) talk to each other all makes the production feel more like a trip into Wonderland than a hard-hitting piece of theatre.

The case of Makode Linde is certainly a great stimulus for a piece of theatre but this take on it perhaps has too many eggs in one basket.