Brighton FringePerformance ArtReviewSouth East

Brighton Fringe: Huldebiet: A Dramatic Concert – Brighton Spiegeltent

Writers and Performers: 7090 and Bert Hana
Reviewer: James Napleton

A trip to the world of Huldebiet is like travelling to a new world somewhere between a childlike fantasy theatre and a birthday party infused with Lynchian absurdity.

The performance is wonderful and strange, bizarre and satisfying, a shambling performance driven not by any discernable narrative but by the need to do everything correctly. Beneath the randomness, there seems to be a concentrated sense of precision guiding it all.

The stage resembles a rather wild children’s birthday party: the skeleton of a gazebo is strung up with a system of string pulleys. Objects hang from the string obscured by brown paper bags. On a screen, slides of wedding photos appear one after another. The performance begins and the cast of three, all dressed in morph suits, begin to tinker with all the objects in some inscrutable order, and the structure begins to buzz, click and hum like a fantastical instrument.

There are dramatic moments sewn throughout the performance. About halfway through, the three all sit at a table underneath the gazebo frame and proceed to rub vapour pen under their eyes. While crying they open a large tray and start stuffing cooked beetroot into their mouths as quickly as possible, while Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You plays in the background.

The major flaw of Huldebiet is the lack of a consistent theme pulling together all the chaos. While the many experiments of the cast can be funny, engaging, and just peculiar they often seem too diffuse. The audience needs something, an investigative clue, to pull it all together. This does not detract from the satisfying joy on offer in this remarkable weird piece, which is well worth experiencing.

Runs until 4 June 2017  |  @brightonfringe

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