“Crazy Glue, Crazy Glue, the glue that makes things good as new!” But whatever is beneath the glue is still broken…
Performed with great flair by Single Shoe Productions, Crazy Glue contrasts the manic joy of first love with the sad, desolate reality of its disintegration in a wordless whirlwind of physical theatre.
Together, Bradley Wayne Smith and Filipa Thomas enact the eruption and subsequent fading of passion between a young couple as what once felt like a feeling that would last forever dwindles into nothing, and their everyday life crumbles around them. The piece is wrenched from tomfoolery to poignancy and back again, leaving you no room to collect yourself in between.
With Thomas’ coiffed hair, Smith’s jaunty red braces, and an eclectic score comprising French chanson, music hall, blues and jazz, the piece has a charming retro feel to it, enhanced by the use of slapstick comedy, clever miming techniques, and well-timed sound effects.
With an almost total lack of props, at times it feels like hard work just understanding what is going on, but overall the miming is very sharp, and the added foley sounds from both score and cast adds a distinctive cartoonesque dimension. In a nod towards clowning, the actors make innovative use of their bodies to subvert the onstage reality, with exaggerated facial expressions, slow-motion fight scenes and occasional exchange enacted entirely from the floor, on their sides.
Despite the fact that their only communication is in a made-up nonsense language, the characters are highly relatable. Thomas’ descent into madness is as chilling as Smith’s dejected husband role is tragic. The duo are compelling to watch; Single Shoe Productions has successfully created a touching piece of theatre without having to rely on language at all.
Crazy Glue is both playful and sad; provocative, and ultimately perfect for anyone looking to see something a bit different this Fringe.
Crazy Glue plays at Assembly Roxy on 12 – 17 and 19 – 25 August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. For tickets and more information see the Edinburgh Fringe website.