Devisers: Sarah Corbett & Angus Barr
Director: Ed Rapley
Reviewer: Sophie Huggins
Although based on a recognised stimulus of the Bronte sisters, there is certainly nothing predictable about this highly entertaining devised fringe comedy. Encompassing genres of improvisation, stand-up, clown and physical theatre, this show is simply unlike anything else.
Set in the rolling hills of Yorkshire, the devisers and performers Sarah Corbett and Angus Barr, transport their audience to the fictional and real world of the Brontes and share a patchwork collage of gothic physical imagery. From the beginning there is a delightful honesty to the show as the fourth wall is immediately broken, hacking that comfortable barrier and opening up a dialogue in the room – complete with an entirely random Q&A session halfway though. This becomes the crux of the production, with the performers frequently coming out of character and offering a sustained stream of witty self-commentary. By playing up to the role of performers putting on a show, a joyous parody of theatre-making is allowed to emerge; a giggle at the fact that theatre isn’t real life and is just a silly game and boy, do they play.
Through exceptional comic timing and a genuine ear for the audience, Corbett and Barr keep the room alive through their craft. Barr, the seeming brains of the operation, holds the higher, more assertive status out of the two and frequently converses with the audience, much to Corbett’s horror. He has a wonderfully childish energy to him and his improvisational skills are something to be commended and awed. Corbett, on the other hand, with expressions that are fascinatingly hypnotic, full of energy, dynamism and vulnerability, perfectly compliments her counterpart and too has an admirable commitment to her craft. Complete with ramshackle props, both the performers are possessed with play as they construct a ridiculous and hysterical narrative that, despite its complete absurdity, contains creative, clever and romantic images. To see two adults fully at play is rare but absolutely uplifting and an aspect sometimes sadly forgotten about in theatre.
To put it simply – the show is unreservedly silly, and a truly unique experience that no audience member will see the same of twice. A fringe piece through and through, it is utterly untameable; much like Cathy Earnshaw herself or even the wigs featured in the production that certainly have a mind of their own.
Reviewed on 22nd April 2017 | Image: Alex Brenner