fringe: l.o.v

l.o.v by the chiral collectiveTonight was one of those times when my expectations (based on what the Fringe Guide said about the show) were completely different to the show I actually witnessed.

That's not really a criticism, it's just that with that particular promotional image for the show and the phrase "a raw and ferocious depiction of love", my mind went in a totally different direction.

What it was was a show about fathers and sons, and boys together, and men together. About how far you should carry someone and what you'll do for a friend.

And about the cadence of language.

Initially it felt very disjointed, going from these very stylised, rhyming pieces to a much more naturalistic tone. The two seemingly disparate halves of the play didn't really seem to really come together for me until almost at the end, but once they did it all seemed to make perfect sense.

What I did enjoy about the stylised parts of the show was the way they used the language. It sounds a little silly... but it felt rich and meaty as I was hearing it... you could roll it around once you'd heard it.

There were also some brilliant little physical moments... the repetition of a particular set of movements that become highly important to the end of the piece... and two brilliant instances of two of the characters mirroring a set of gestures as they had a conversation although it was never completely clear where the gesture originated... so each one could have belonged to either of the characters.

All three actors are perfectly cast in their roles (Joseph Appleton as Ali, Michael McFarlane as James and Fabio Motta in a duel role as both Ali's Father and Max), but of the three it was Motta who really shone.

His ability to flick between the two very different characters was brilliant and he was able to make them feel almost like they were being played by different people with nothing more than a hoodie.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of it all when it started, but by the end it had definitely won me over.

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