crosseyed @ Star Theatre 2 (Hilton)
1:00pm, Wed 8 Mar 2006
The Yarn paints a picture of rural communal life – emphasis on the commune, the bloody pinkos – in late 19th Century Britain. The overall image of that life is joyful, though tough – but a huge emphasis is placed on the banding together of the community (“hardships are common, and hardships are shared”).
From a central collection of performers, a number of yarns are spun; each with their own moral or humour, they’re very much self contained. From the very first yarn – Betsy’s Sister – through to the blunt Toby’s Tale, the stories get shorter, faster. There’s the morbid death of the hungry woman, the bitter tale of the estranged family, the absurdity of the flying cow… and then the sad epilogue, lamenting the death of country life in favour of the cities.
Initially, with all eight of us in Star Theatre 2, I thought this performance was going to suffer the same fate as The Happy Prince; then thirty-plus Year 8 students came in – sneering looks from many of the other patrons… the joyless prigs. And whilst none of the cast are going to win any acting awards this Fringe, it’s safe to say that this is a competent production worthy of a few more such school groups. Not really worth seeking out, but OK if you’re in the ‘hood.