[2013142] Le Foulard

[2013142] Le Foulard

Lucy Hopkins @ The Tuxedo Cat – Red Room

8:30pm, Thu 14 Mar 2013

“I am… an Artist,” declares the spotlit Lucy Hopkins at the start of Le Foulard (“Art Show”)… and a knowing chuckle emerges from some in the audience. Others in the audience raised eyebrows and looked around, trying to figure out the laugh cues, or laugh nervously at the absurdity of the gangly black-clad figure before them.

Hopkins’ pretentious Artist roams the stage with awkward-looking, angular movements, before – with a flourish of her scarf – switching to another character, a silent and confused hunched woman. Another flourish, another character… and she maintains the three distinct personae throughout, each with their own physical traits, facial expressions, and (in two cases) accents. But it’s somewhat demonstrative of the headspace that I was in that the most endearing character – the character that triggered the arty parts of my brain – was the silent one; her constant confusion was a source of sheer delight, and her use as punctuation to the other two characters did wonders for the pacing of the show.

Le Foulard‘s monologues all revolve around the construction and consumption of Art; as a result, it becomes an exercise in meta-theatre. And it’s quite intelligent stuff, with a few oddball diversions (most notably the overly theatrical and haughty version of I Will Survive) along the way. But, even though I hang around theatres and arty types as much as I can, I started thinking that some of Hopkin’s text was a little too… inside baseball. It’s not meant for people like me to understand; rather, it’s almost a self-parody of the artistic process.

Don’t get me wrong, though; Le Foulard is an extremely polished Fringe show, with some cutting insights and quirky humour. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a show by An Artist, for other Artists to appreciate… and if the general public came along for the ride, well, that’s almost accidental.

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