CONCLUSIONS: On Ice (FringeTIX)
floogle @ one forty five
6:30pm, Thu 21 Feb 2008
After the fantastic Black Crow Lullabies in 2006, floogle’s productions made my “must see” list. So off to the unknown one forty five I trot, only to discover that it’s the same venue in which the Black Lung was situated last year. floogle have applied a bit of spit and polish to the interior; what was once rough-hewn and rustic is now smooth, warm, comfortable. The performance space has also had a bit of a facelift – professionally arranged, nice seats… lush.
Of course, even if floogle’s name wasn’t attached to the show I still would have shortlisted this. Check the opening lines of the blurb: “Park. Morning. 27 Degrees. A woman stands on a block of ice, a noose around her neck. Human traffic looks on.”
How could you not want to investigate further? Such a wonderful premise, brimming with opportunity and tension.
As the performance begins, it’s pretty much as the blurb indicated: centre-stage, there’s a woman standing on a block of ice, bag over her head, noose around her neck. A man and a woman sit at the back of the stage as we file in – they play the “human traffic”. We start with the beggar, angling for shoes; the child, angling for donations so she can win her coveted purple backpack with yellow water bottle… “It’s for a good because!” The dentist, the cleaner, the frottage-happy man and his soon-to-be heartbroken girlfriend. And the Old Woman, who ties the whole performance together with sharp dialog and cutting cynicism. All these characters play around the ice-woman, viewing her cries for help with suspicion.
Throughout, all technical aspects are brilliant; Tahli Corin and Patrick Graham perform their menagerie of characters with aplomb, and Ptiika Owen-Shaw is so wonderfully expressive with the bag on her head. Direction is faultless, and – as usual – I’m completely sucked in by the use of shadows in the lighting.
Now – let’s get one thing straight, here. I’ve got no idea of any deeper meaning or subtext to this production; sure, you could surmise that it’s a comment on modern society’s selfish inward-looking nature. But that would just take the fun away from the piece; I’m much happier suffering white-out in a snowstorm of what-the-fuck. I can’t qualitatively state why I enjoyed Conclusions: On Ice so much, just that I did.
Bloody brilliant Fringe theatre, I say.