FRINGE REVIEW – Silent Cannonfire, Zoo


15-30 Aug, 1620 (1720) Zoo Roxy

This show has all the ingredients of a rollicking adventure on the high seas – merchant ships, bloodthirsty pirates, drinking and whoring,  sea monsters, stolen treasure, hungry cannibals, vicious battles, and raucous sea shanties and hornpipes performed live by two musically inclined merfolk.
What is does not have, aside from the live music and some sporadic sound effects, is noise. Of Vast Bigness, the company behind Silent Cannonfire, claim that it is the world’s first ever silent pirate play, and who are we to argue?
Sometimes this gimmick works beautifully, as where subtitles are worked into the props and costumes. Sometimes it is more problematic, as crowded scenes can be difficult to follow and some cast members are less physically skilled as mimes.
The gaps between the great comic moments can be a little too long, but when those moments of brilliance come they are well worth waiting for. There is some genuinely inventive staging at work here, some great use of props and some excellent physical comedy from some cast members (the admiral has clearly been worshipping at the altar of Mr Bean and is none the worse for it!)
So, a few problems to iron out and some tightening up needed, but all in all a very seaworthy production which is well worth a look.

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