Reviewer: Simon Topping
A collection of large boxes sit on stage accompanied by a lone desk with a scattering of office supplies and poised performers. As the music thumps out a beat the movement commences. The troupe, Jordan Choi with brothers Alex and Tom Manghan proceed together, intertwining as one, to start the piece. It is a funny beginning which sees all three performers dressing Alex Manghan in a standard drab business suit for his next day on the treadmill of life; a strong opening which hails the coming of an hour of wonderful clowning, extorted faces and hilarious motion.
Created by experimental dance group Rendered Retina, Form is a journey from the mundane world of work, of which many of us watching can relate, to the vast shores of imagination bored office workers create to survive. Trapped in a Groundhound Day scenario who hasn’t dreamt of escape? Form takes us on that adventure but, “Do we have to come back?” They question.
The action continues with mundane routines, where forms are stamped, screwed up into a ball and placed in boxes. The only joy the working drones receive is a satisfying bleep that the colleagues seem to crave in a Pavlovian way. But what happens if one of the co-workers does the unexpected? The crowd is eager to know.
The wonder of the show is routed in its performers and how many unusual ways they use the space and the paper on stage. There is an inventive underwater scene that is cleverly done, a new take on the walking down imaginary stairs and plenty of great comedic interplay.
An impressive piece of physical theatre using 20,000 paper balls, Form is exactly what a great Fringe show should be: experimental, highly accomplished, moving in place, fun and creative. Go and see it if you get the chance, it is the perfect antidote to any monotony or office based oppressive regime.
Reviewed on 6 May 2018