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Tag Archive | "Lecoq Theatre School"

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Edinburgh Fringe Review: How A Man Crumbled

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Jake Orr

Clout Theatre, a graduate company of the Lecoq-theatre school, present their physical and comedic How A Man Crumbled at Summerhall as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The piece, a combination of comedia, vignettes and physical character portrayal, tells the story of a writer who is interrupted by an old woman at his home. Before we know it, the woman is dead and the writer is trying to dispose of her body. A witty and funny physical comedy that showcases the excellence of the Lecoq training.

The three performers, with bulging eyes and faces smeared in clay, begin against the back wall of the performance space. Their eyes flicker and their strained bodies move in slow motion as if caught in glue. Then suddenly, they burst into life, with a monologue of a language unknown to me, but the sense of character and performance atmosphere is established. From here, the story begins and the writer takes his position with pen and paper, he ponders, he writes, he enters the frenzy of the writer’s mind.

Throughout How A Man Crumbled the narrative is split between the buffoon characters playing out of character and the story of the writer and the old woman. These sections are intersected with projected title and narrative commentary onto the back wall, as if being played in a silent film. For all its energy, How A Man Crumbled lacks a definitive narrative pull to keep the audience engaged. Yes, the cast are very capable performers, but there are far too many instances when we are left to watch without feeling connected to the narrative or characters. It’s a shame given the skill of the performers – their buffoon-like stares into the audience and their clasping onto each other out of desperation is funny, but can’t compensate for the weak joining of narrative and character.

It’s not entirely a lost performance though – Clout Theatre show the potential of their training and will definitely be a company to keep an eye on for future work. They may not have hit upon the complete package this time, but sometimes the glint in a performers’ eyes during a show can show you all you need to know about the engagement and committed desire of a company. Watch out for future Clout Theatre work.

*** 3/5 Stars

How A Man Crumbled is playing at Summerhall until 26 August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information and tickets, see the Edinburgh Fringe website.

Jake Orr

Jake Orr

Jake is the Artistic Director and Founder of A Younger Theatre. He is a freelance writer and blogger, a theatre marketer and a digital producer. He is also Co-Curator of Dialogue.

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