Clutter Keeps Company
The title of this new young adult production from Birds of Paradise is so eye-catchingly obtrusive, it’s a surprise to come out after 80 minutes and realise that it’s really kind of irrelevant to the story. However, Davey Anderson’s packed-out script – the tale of a teenage boy with Aspergers and the assorted characters he encounters over a weekend – at times feels a little cluttered itself, weighted down with a surfeit of plot elements.
It’s a shame, because the main characters are big, skilfully drawn, soulful parts, and could do with a little breathing space. That said, while there’s a lot happening here, most of it is great: brilliantly energetic, with some lovely poetic moments and lots of truly witty character-based humour.
All four actors, hardly pausing for breath, take on multiple roles, including that of the narrator, and so function as live audio description for sight-impaired audiences (every word spoken is simultaneously subtitled for hearing-impaired audiences, too). This agglomeration of detail is turned into a production style by seamlessly slick choreography, so well integrated into the fast-flowing, continually updated narrative that you almost wouldn’t realise there was choreographed movement in here at all. Movern Gregor’s excellent direction deserves a mention too: the whole production has clearly been rehearsed with near-military precision, but the actors make it look spontaneous.
Currently touring throughout Scotland. Seen at Tramway, Glasgow, Wed 17 Feb