‘Dollface’ is an i.e. production that follows the story of Marion, an artist struggling to move on, whilst battling against his emotions, regrets and the expectations of the other characters. In fact every character of the performance has his or her burdens to live with, each one adding to the Sisyphean theme that underlies the performance.
The small talk given on the walk up to the performance area was a nice addition, as it distracted from the hike up the hill. However the speaker was a bit on the quiet side, and given that the talk was about the performance and let the audience in on some details that they might not have been aware of otherwise, it would have been better if they had spoken a little louder.
That solitary nitpick aside, Dollface is a very good and emotive production that uses music, props and puppets masterfully, improving more and more with every performance. So don’t let the opportunity to sample this truly unique piece of theatre pass you by.
Sat atop of Castle mound, hidden from the town below by a ring of trees, we bare witness to Marion, the writer who has stopped writing. Thinking aloud on top of the hill, and with an affinity to friends with names beginning with M, we start to piece together exactly what, or who, caused our poet to lay down his pen (or quill as the case may be).
With bits of poetry, puppetry, music and more, the small ensemble bring to life the struggle to create art of any kind, and what it takes to give a little part of yourself to your work, through showing us a man who can no longer bring himself to do such a thing.
Quietly funny and sad in equal parts, this is well worth a watch, and as it is the first piece that i.e. have created I’m excited to see what they make next.
If you were to box up your life, or a moment of it, what would your box contain?
Reviewer Jess Cox urges you to pause for a moment of quiet contemplation at this intriguing audio street installation .
This gentle piece of audio theatre invites you to sit a while amid the relative hustle of Barnstaple town centre and lose yourself a little in the monologues and the moments you unbox.
Multiple cardboard boxes await you (I found them on the benches outside Green Lanes) each with its own audio and story. The choice over which, and how many, of the boxes you open is up to you.
You could open the story of a less than happy bride or the musings of a man who wishes to travel. Perhaps it will be the conversation of a man packing up his life, the bits and bobs which make up his existence packed up and stored away. Each story box draws you into the thoughts of its character and, being only five to ten minutes long, each piece of the collection creates a lovely space of stillness during what can easily turn into a frantic weekend at fringe.
Catch Benchmark by i.e at various alt spaces on Saturday 1.30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
The relationship between the two characters is delightful to see … the playfulness emerges in the telling of the story
‘No one tells Greek myths quite like a Roman’
In the quiet, cool surroundings of St Anne’s chapel, Tiresius the blind seer guides us through tales from ancient Greece. Vox, his mute accomplice in this task, accompanies these stories not with words but through various musical underscores, underpinning and adding a fresh layer to these classic stories. From the start of the world to the revels of Dionysus’ and his followers to the tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, the two performers guide us through these tales with great pace, weaving deftly through the dense tales and keeping the audience on their side throughout.
The relationship between these two characters is also delightful to see; the show starts with Tiresius eventually realising the audience are already in the room, having blindly worked his way to Vox at the front of the room. There’s only so many ways you can mutely alert your friend of this when he won’t stop talking.
The moments when the characters step out of their storytelling and interact simply with each other and the audience, whether it’s to discuss the virtue of wine, or maybe to remind us that Romans really did tell the Greek myths best, puts into question how long this pair have been telling these stories, and how longsuffering they are in their friendship. As one is blind, the other mute, and they tell stories that have been told a thousand times over, playfulness emerges in the telling of the story by the deprecating pair as much as there’s delight in the stories themselves.
If you’re a fan of Greek myths this is definitely a show for you, and if you’re not sure where you stand allow Tiresius and Nox to bring you into the world of ancient Greece for a little while.
By Jess Cox
Miserus Card Feedback
- Held the audience. Funny and confident 1st performance on a hot hot day. Brave and assured. Pen,
- Really interesting take on Greek myths. Very engaging and funny storytelling.
- Different – very funny = learnt a lot LOL
- Very entertaining, amusing and I learnt things too!