An Account of a Savage
Wrong Shoes Theatre Company
There's a thin line to straddle in performance art, whereby physical theatre manages to take a concept and through movement, music and sound, can evoke a world and story. Too far on one side, there lies a plain narrative with not enough artistry to the movement, and on the other a cacophony of noise and flourish that never comes together as a coherent piece.
Wrong Shoes Theatre Company's Fringe fare, An Account of a Savage, falls definitively into the first category, as the story of a feral child, found in the woods and brought into the care of scientists and doctors bent on "civilising" her, comes across almost entirely as a lacklustre and predictable story, peppered with moments of thronging movement, and far, far too much screaming and yelling.
The young cast aquit themselves with no lack of credibility, as they throw their all into the roles, loping and spinning around the stage as the doctor, the scientist, the nurse and the girl. Indeed aside from rather too many lines muttered so quietly they were drowned out by the ambient music, the acting was almost on a par with the physicality.
The trouble was that the narrative itself came across as predictable, and worse still, boring, most especially when, from seemingly nowhere, a character had an impassioned monologue that seemed to go on for minutes, feeling like an island in the middle of the hectic screaming, giggling and light changes. I can praise Wrong Shoes for their ingenuity, and imagination, and for the raw physicality of the piece, but, ultimately, the play left me cold and quite glad to be away from the noise after a while.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan