Camden People’s Theatre
Reviewed – 19th August 2019
“brilliant, high octane, physical theatre at its absolute best”
The Camden Fringe has delivered a smorgasbord of delights this year and as it enters its final week, plenty more shows are still on offer.
Rendered Retina bring us the award winning Form, a comedy based around the mundane goings of three workers in a typical office. Not necessarily a plot line to set the pulse racing, but this is all delivered through the medium of mime, clowning and ingeniously clever object manipulation.
The set consists of an office desk dressed with the usual accessories and fourteen boxes filled with scrunched up balls of paper.
Some plays have a thousand lines of dialogue and yet nothing of substance is said. Here, not a single word is spoken and yet we are made to laugh and question how our working routine dominates our lives. The three performers (Tom Mangan, Alex Mangan and Jordan Choi) are all equally skilled. The ongoing choreography is lightning fast and yet synchronised to the split second. Movement is exaggerated, sharp and accompanied by terrific facial expression. The original music score complemented each of the scenes cleverly and heightened the story telling that the actors were so wittily putting across.
Scene changes can often be so clunky and yet no black outs and scraping of furniture here, instead locations changed before our eyes. Often they were so subtle and slickly carried out, that you almost didn’t notice it happening right in front of you. There we were, transformed to an operating theatre, a prison cell or an underwater setting. Props used in these scenes were genius, again they suddenly appeared out of nowhere, were imaginative and yet fitted the setting perfectly. We were promised twenty thousand balls of screwed up paper and that’s what we got. Inventively used in a variety of scenes, the one single ball of red paper caught the eye like a laser and again moved around the stage with a deft slightness of hand. At the end of the show, the stage was littered with these paper balls and yet this company is so accomplished, you feel that each and every one probably ended up no more than inch from where it should have been.
This is brilliant, high octane, physical theatre at its absolute best. An original concept and put together in a humorous, thought provoking, imaginative way by an immensely talented team. As the dust settles and I return to my mundane desk job tomorrow, whenever I have cause to use my desk stapler, I think a fond smile will creep across my face.
Reviewed by Chris White
Photography by Lindsay Oliver
Camden People’s Theatre until 21st August as part of Camden Fringe 2019
Last ten shows reviewed at this venue: