ErictheFred (Assembly Roxy, 8-30 Aug : 21.45 : 55 mins)

“Lynam is very expressive and engaging, oozing with energy and charisma”

Editorial Rating: 3 Stars

This show is an insight into the life of a performer whose memories still haunt him, and he begins to envision what could have been. It’s a fairly simple concept, which to me is a bit too drawn out and unoriginal, and I would have liked a few more twists or developments to take the piece somewhere new.

There’s no dialogue – it’s just actor Chris Lynam alone with a menagerie of props and projections. He begins standing on stage dressed as a ballet dancer, and in frustration he tears off his costume and throws it away. Then, as if decreed from above, a new costume flies in, which he puts on, and transforms himself into a clown for the rest of the performance. It was never made particularly clear how or why this transformation took place, but as the show progressed, it seemed to become an unimportant detail.

Throughout this performance Lynam is very expressive and engaging, oozing with energy and charisma, and from very early on we are drawn in to his world and visions. Through the twists and turns he suffers, the clown’s physicality and facial expressions are strong enough to portray each emotion and it is a very capable performance.

What makes the show stand out is the interaction with various technical elements. The whole show is seen from behind a projection screen, onto which various scenes and “thoughts” are projected throughout. In addition, there is a vast array of props which enter and exit of their own accord, adding to the sense of mysticism and imagination.
At the end of the show there are two shock moments (which I won’t spoil), that add a fresh dimension to what until then had become a quite tired and monotonous format. It’s a shame moments like these did not come in sooner to give the piece more variety and sense of surprise.

To me, the problem with shows that have a high reliance on technical aspects, especially at the Fringe, is that one never feels quite at ease that everything will go to plan. And while nothing major went wrong in this performance, there were numerous occasions when there was an air of hope as opposed to confidence that the right thing would fly in and fly out at the right time, which prevented me from becoming fully absorbed in the work. But perhaps towards the end of the run these details will be more ironed out.

Overall, a very strong solo performance, but I was left feeling a little bit with the sense of “So What?”.

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Reviewer: Steve Griffin  (Seen 8 August)

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