Written by: Ed Summers
Reviewer: Simon Topping
Odjo, a man raised by elephants, until the circus is shut down, roams the waves having fallen asleep in a small fishing boat that came loose from its moorings some time ago.
A journalist, asked to write an exploitative article about this simple man of the sea, decides to go against his editor’s wishes and instead comes aboard Odjo’s tiny boat to share in his life for three months to see what he can learn from him.
The performance is beautifully lit throughout and the small space benefits from being sparsely staged with only a paper hull to represent the boat and a chair for the interior.
Performed by Ed Summers, Odjo is a peculiar piece of mime punctuated with genuinely joyful moments of dance and silliness. Summers is at his best when performing synchronised movement to music. There is an exquisite dripping water scene and a wonderfully absurd martial arts segment that showcase this talent and several charming interactions with the audience.
Although never feeling fully immersed in the story and with a voice over, representing the journalist, that is oddly jarring, this first outing of Odjo: King of the Ocean demonstrates lots of potential and some engaging instants already.
Runs 12, 19, 26 May 2017 at Sweet Waterfront 2
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