FRINGE REVIEW – Ray Bradbury’s 2116, C

*****

5-30 Aug (not 17), 2100 (2215) @ C Plaza

If you are wary of Fringe theatre thanks to one too many badly produced amateur production, this show should come as a pleasant surprise.

The sets, costumes, props and makeup are all first-rate, the music is of a professional level, the movement is as fluid as you will see in many dedicated dance pieces and the acting is also very good indeed.

The show opens with Mr and Mrs Wycherly preparing to celebrate their 40th anniversary and pondering their mortality. Into this rather fraught occasion steps Mr Marionette, who creates life-size robotic puppets to order.

Those familiar with Ray Bradbury will not be surprised by what ensues. But whilst the first act tells a simple cautionary tale, the second act tackles some of Bradbury’s recurring themes, some of which now seem a little outdated. But any shortcomings are forgivable thanks to some nice ensemble pieces from a beautifully athletic cast.

With a carnival-grotesque aesthetic that should appeal to fans of burlesque and cabaret, some surprisingly sexy choreography, high-quality staging and a hugely charismatic front-man in the form of Steve Josephson’s Mr Marionette, this is a wonderful find for fans of real theatrical flair.

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