Geronimo - The Umbilical Project: Cut/Uncut

Lucy Kirkwood
Pleasance Attic / Bedlam Theatre

Lucy Kirkwood's play Geronimo serves as the spine of this practical experiment in production. Two companies produce separate versions of the play without communicating with one another, and make both versions available to Fringe audiences for the purpose of comparative study.

Kirkwood herself helms the 'Uncut,' Bedlam-based version of her play, and directs the cast in a realistic manner, true to her own vision of the piece. Meanwhile, at the Pleasance, director Matt Addicott leads a much more experimental and physical production, taking Kirkwood's script and manipulating it to find a more abstract expression of the story.

Both versions are strong - Addicott and his cast excel at exploiting the raw emotion of the text, while Kirkwood's side of the production has a much stronger link between each beat in the line of events. The themes therefore come through stronger in Kirkwood's version, as Addicott's breaking away from the structure of the story means the audience loses such aspects of the story as the cyclical nature of events.

But by the same token, there were points in Kirkwood's production when one wished for more of the visceral physicality of Addicott's approach.

Ultimately, The Umbilical Project confirms what I had already suspected - that it is a rare writer who can direct their own play to its full potential, while it is generally beneficial for a production to have access to a writer during the rehearsal periods.

I would recommend audiences do their best to attend both productions, although with each 'half' of the project costing as much as a regular Fringe show (and no apparent discount for booking both, probably due to the separate venues being used) this may be a costly proposition.

(Originally awarded 3 and 4 stars.)

Reviewer: Rachel Lynn Brody

*Some links, including Amazon,,, ATG Tickets, LOVEtheatre, BTG Tickets, Ticketmaster, LW Theatres and QuayTickets, are affiliate links for which BTG may earn a small fee at no extra cost to the purchaser.

Are you sure?