NNF13 street theatre, Fragile @ Millennium Plain, Bone Yard Tales @ Festival Gardens, 18 May 2013

Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2013, street theatre shows, 18 May 2013, review

The mid festival weekend saw some street theatre premieres, and the garden party at Chapelfield, although on a much lower and smaller scale than in recent years, I think we can blame that on government cuts. Entertainment was still at a high level though, and the strange construction outside the Forum at Millennium Plain brough a large audience for the Saturday lunchtime premiere of ‘Fragile’.



A weathered, iron looking home and the arrival of a newly married couple, the wife looking considerably less impressed than her partner, disrupting the gentle to-ing and fro-ing of the loner who was in residence, caring for all the plants. Things become more odd when they discover the bouncing rooftop garden! I won’t say more about the story other than it is at times strange, beautiful, enchanting, and bewildering. If I have any criticism it is that it perhaps should have been five or ten minutes shorter, the ending especially could have been edited as this was not well suited to an hour long performance but it was highly impressive, especially the acrobatic and tightrope scenes.



A couple of hours later, the Bone Yard Tales was starting in Festival Gardens. A crowd had already gathered to watch the artists setting up and testing the props, a sort of carnival sound-check, if you will.

bone yard tales

bone yard tales

When the audience was about to start we were warned of much movement and audience participation – always a good cue to step back and hide behind the camera – and it started with some surreal dj-ing and a live saxophone score from a rooftop, as the main players moved and narrated their way through the audience on their strange junkyard contraptions, like modern, Mad Max steampunk Wombles. There was much rubbish collection, recycling, and a totally delightful dragon! Totally bonkers and very British, the kids around seemed to love it.

words and photos by richard shashamane (c) 2013


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