fringe: flesh and blood

adelaide fringe: flesh and blood by unpolished theatre
Let's just start with the most important thing and move on from there, shall we...

Flesh and Bone by London's Unpolished Theatre is AMAZING!

Writer, director and actor Elliot Warren has taken the rhythm and metre (and occasionally the words) of Shakespeare and transported it to an East London housing estate and the two just mesh together perfectly.

The stage is bare, the five actors are dressed much as you would expect in singlets, tracksuits and the like, and some of the language definitely leans towards profanity.

But the way language, foul or otherwise, is used is what makes this show so incredible.

Warren displays incredible skill in combining the spirit of Shakespeare with that tough as nails, rough as guts reputation of East London, but at the same time managing to make the characters humorous, relatable and sympathetic.

And the show goes from hilarious to moving to thought provoking and back again at the flick of a switch and had me welling up towards the end.

I don't want to say too much about the plot of the show itself as it is definitely something that needs to be experienced, but it's arranged in a number of separated but connected scenes, sometimes soliloquies, sometimes groups, but with that Shakespearean conceit of allowing a character to speak directly to and only to the audience at any moment.

Alongside Warren on stage as Terrence are his co-director Olivia Brady as Kel, and co-stars Alessandro Babalola as Jamal, Michael Jinks as Reiss and Nick T Frost as Granddad, who are all equally brilliant, although Jinks, Babalola and Warren were the ones that really stole my heart in the second half of the show (especially Jinks during his scenes as Reiss).

And because it was our day for audience participation I did have a somewhat intense moment with Babalola's Jamal where he took my hand (and I think I threw him off for a split second when I patted his hand and told him it would be okay) and then I got moved out of my seat during another scene and Warren's Terrence hugged me as I moved back (which I wasn't expecting at all).

Suffice to say that this is theatre done right, and definitely a show to go and see.

yani's rating: 5 footballs out of 5

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