The programme from ‘Devil in the Detail’ describes theatre company MetaMorpho’s brief as being “to create new work that appeals to a broad audience using all the tools that 21st Century theatre can
offer.” And with this prodiuction they succeed admirably.
The action is set in a shabby boarding house populated by a crooked accountant, a simple-minded security guard, an unscrupulous landlady and her greedy daughter. With no dialogue, the performers use masks, puppets, music and mime to create a fast-paced farce that feels much shorter than its eighty minute running time.
It turns out delight is also to be found in the detail here, as it is obvious that great attention has been paid to every aspect of the performance and staging. From the peeling, discoloured woodchip and the pictures hung slightly askew to the “NO PET’S ALOUD” sign, the set perfectly captures the feel of a seedy, transient lodging. The music plays a central role too, and in the absence of dialogue helps define mood and character. The Balkan beats in particular suit the frenetic action sequences wonderfully well. With no lines and inanimate masks, the actors also use their body language extremely effectively in creating their characters.
This is MetaMorpho’s first show, and it is a genuine treat. Indeed, if this debut is anything to go by, they look set to become a Fringe fixture for some time to come.
5-29 Aug (not 10, 17) 1800 (1920) @ Zoo Roxy More info here.