Pleasant surprises

14 April 2017

Elise Fairbairn shares her thoughts on Skellig, Thick skin and Ordinary Days


Today was a chill day. I got to experience lots of theatre and meet more people. This festival is fabulous and more people should know about it...

Skellig was certainly interesting. You incorporated a big cast and because of that you could easily distinguish the “actors” from the “people who have been cast and told where to stand”, which was a shame, but ultimately bound to happen. It was a concept that could’ve been great, but instead it limited those who sat on the ends of rows, hindering them from viewing any puppetry at all – a shame, and something that wasn’t considered in the traverse staging.

Alongside this, it overran by 20 minutes, which doesn’t sound too long, but in a show that is quite slow in pace anyway, it just seemed to drag on – a total shame in my opinion. This show had the ability to be great, instead it was just OK.

After the show I thought I’d have chance to learn some projection skills, but after the elongated pre-dinner show, there wasn’t time! So after tea, it was time for Thick Skin and Ordinary Days.

Thick Skin surprised me. Your summary does not do it justice. I walked in seeing two microphones and thought, “Oh dear, another show that’s going to shout at me and tell me it’s angry or something”, but instead it did the opposite. It told stories. Not in-depth stories, but stories that meant something and that I liked to hear. Stories that real people experience, and I could appreciate all of it. There were moments I didn’t feel were needed in the piece, but they needed to be said. This was done by an amateur company and I feel this could be the best show at the festival. You admitted what was what but allowed me my own freedom. It was great.

Ordinary Days was also something to enjoy. It was so funny and entertaining that I didn’t worry about anything else in the world – which is quite nice for a drama festival. The plot was a bit “meh”, but it was different and I loved it. You took what is normal in musicals and flipped them all and that's why I loved it. You were different and it worked. Well – fucking – done.

All in all, a good day. I had a lie in, I was fed. I shouldn’t complain, but I always find a way to do so... somehow... keep enjoying the festival and keep having fun – because I am!

Show of the day: Thick Skin

Tech of the day: Liv Presto


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Photo credit: Aenne Pallasca