FRINGE REVIEW – If Room Enough

*****

By Danielle Farrow

If Room Enough is an entertaining piece based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest which incorporates fine song, well-thought-out movement and a great deal of humour, working with everyday objects in a playful physical manner.

The company withWings presents a modern take on this tale of a wronged Duke’s revenge on his enemies, one which is finally tempered by forgiveness and which gains his daughter her man. On this contemporary seaside, a beach hut takes pride of place on a stage that also includes a washing machine – relating to an exuberant, and sometimes vulnerable, Ariel – a bike that Caliban rides to produce electricity for lamps (a fine reworking of his job of gathering firewood), and a table that needs completing during the show and forms one of its funny sequences. There is also a screened section for instruments, with music and song featuring throughout the play.

The company does not consist fully of professional performing artists and the movement pieces, while well-constructed and sometimes impressive, do reflect the fact that those involved are not all full time physical performers. This is seen in some lack of precision and full commitment to extended movement, but there are also a few very strong physical moments, and the verve and energy of the group, along with some imaginative presentation, captivates the audience. Watchers are also included, with direct address and action, and with small tasks that are none-too-onerous and invite participation lightly without being off-putting.

The central hut is put to good use as a scene setter and something of a magic box, and the story flows along at a cracking pace. There are times when the much condensed language of the original is lost to visual antics or stutters when snipped to shreds, with at least one cut down phrase making no sense at all (‘lest too light winning’ does what?). However, the story and its humour and poignant moments comes across clearly, with fine comic timing and some real gusto from the actors.

If Room Enough – the title taken from the start of The Tempest – is an energetic piece of physical theatre that is beautifully light-hearted with moments of darker emotions – often achieved through the musical elements – and is an imaginative creation that provides its audience with much amusement and downright hilarity.

3-24 August (not 5, 12, 19), 14:40 (15:45) @ Northern Stage at St Stephen’s

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply