Reviewer: David Doyle
The Flanagan Collective has become something of an institution at the Edinburgh Fringe, offering a selection of work each year. This year sees them bring three shows, all of which are vastly different to one another. One of their shows, Snakes and Giants, showcases their effortless blend of storytelling, spoken word, and music, which has marked the company out as one of the most exciting companies producing work today.
The show tells the story of two women who find themselves in a certain place at a certain moment. One clutches a pot of cold tea outside a closed building, while the other stands on the edge of a cliff, a half drunk bottle of wine in her hand. It is a story of love, loss, and the passing of time.
There are some supremely touching moments in the piece, and the exploration of finding and losing meaning in life are expertly rendered. The narrative of the piece however often comes second to the expression of the emotion, and this at times prevents the show reaching its full potential. A more streamlined narrative may have helped the show at times in expressing its view.
However, the piece is supremely beautiful, in both its performance and in its music. Two charismatic performances as well as soaring and beautiful musicality, which have become staples of the company’s work, are enough to carry the piece at moments when narratively it isn’t quite working. Snakes and Giants manages to capture the strengths of The Flanagan’s Collective work in a show that is endlessly charming.
Runs until 27 August 2016 (not 15)