ReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Bummer and Lazarus – The Warren: Theatre Box

Creators: Big Egg Theatre

Reviewer: Simon Topping

One of the more unusual stories based on truth in this year’s Fringe is of Bummer and Lazarus, a tale of two dogs; revered rat-catching dogs of  San Francisco in the 1860’s. As the play begins the dogs appear trapped in a room from which there is no escape.

Choosing to use minimal props and human clothing the two actors equip themselves well in this mind-bogglingly wordy and impressive piece.

Lazarus is a neurotic mess who runs around the space aimlessly hitting walls and falling over time and time again; allowing the player to show off his impressive physicality. Bummer is the leader, the provider and protector. Sometimes pompous and always harangued, he tries to answer Lazarus’s continuing string of questions and exclamations on abstract concepts such as time and being but he cannot answer everything and the constant barrage wears the alpha male down as the play develops and their hunger becomes more extreme.

The script is performed at breakneckk speed with great conviction. It has a dizzying, dreamlike quality to it and could fit well as a modern companion to Waiting for Godot.

Lazarus’ confused soliloquies develop a philosophical air to the play, which at its centre questions the meaning of why are we here and what is here anyway. It is an intelligent piece but can also be enjoyed on a rhythmic level too. The pacing of both actors is very good throughout and as we near the end the audience is in admiration of the players ability to learn, deliver and pull of this impressive display of absurdist theatre.

If you like Pinter plays go and see this, you’ll love it.

Reviewed on 24th May

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