Theatre Review: Frantic – Queen’s Square Street Theatre, Clevedon
This review was first written for The Public Reviews
Theatre Shop’s season in Clevedon includes not only professional live performance in an empty retail unit, but also a variety of free street entertainment. Ballet Central danced on the pier to an audience of 700, a jester tumbled colourfully along the prom and a giant-sized game of live hangman was open to everyone.
To this eclectic mix, contemporary dance and circus company Acrojou bring their latest show Frantic, a combination of acrobatics, dance and physical theatre choreographed around a bespoke tubular wheel with a chair fixed in its centre. One man is trapped by his busy world inside the wheel, running and typing manically on a keyboard. A blind flickers open before shuttering him in again as he is first observed and then helped outside by a young woman.
His movements are frenetic, hers repetitive and controlled, until she helps him to escape and unleashes an elemental expression of emotion in sand and water. There follows fluid freedom of movement outside the wheel, a discovery of love and harmony for them both, culminating in a cathartic rainstorm to mesmerising music.
This short twenty minute piece is slow to catch light – which risks losing the attention of a mobile audience – but intriguing when it does. It creates a narrative without words that invokes echoes of Gecko’s Institute and showcases Acrojou as a company to watch.