Review: The Mutant Man, Space Arts Centre

“I saw the face of a man, or a women as it were”

I do admire a play – and a production – that isn’t afraid to make its audience work. Christopher Bryant’s The Mutant Man relays the true story of Harry Crawford, a man accused of murder, a woman who was born Eugenia Falleni, a transgender man living at the turn of the last century. And Heather Fairbairn’s production takes these questions of gender fluidity and runs full pelt into her box of tricks, emerging with a densely constructed and thought-provoking sense of theatricality.

Using the murder trial as a focal point gives us as much purpose as we’re able to easily discern, the non-linear narrative allows fractured biography to seep through for though Clementine Mills is credited with playing Harry and Matthew Coulton Eugenia, each also takes on several other roles as well as exploring all the complexities of the protagonist. And what complexities they are as the notion of gender as a construct slams up hard time and again against a resolutely intolerant society – plus ça change… Continue reading “Review: The Mutant Man, Space Arts Centre”

Review: A Year From Now, VAULT Festival

“I see I’m starting to get old now”

If I had star ratings, RedBellyBlack would gain an extra one automatically for featuring the theme tune to 80s kids TV programme Round The Twist in their show A Year From Now. I would then probably take it away again because they’re all too young to have watched it when it was on and I’m bitter like that. Fortunately, A Year From Now has much more to it than the cultural appropriation of my childhood so we’re good.

Playing at the VAULT Festival after a run at the Tristan Bates last year, the show is built on a set of responses to the provocation ‘where do you see yourself a year from now?’. Using the techniques of verbatim theatre, a company of 5 interpret the answers to that question from 14 different people from all walks of life, with a multidisciplinary approach. With a keen eye for the visual, Vicki Baron’s direction mixes in movement with the miming, laughter with the lip-syncing, constantly keeping us on our toes.  Continue reading “Review: A Year From Now, VAULT Festival”