07 The Scotsman - August 2009

The Kosh in The Storeroom, Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh

 

the scotsman review

 

PR people are like a bag of chips: best taken with a large dose of salt. But The Kosh company’s PR described this show to me as a “wee gem”, and that is exactly what it is. One of The Kosh’s declared intentions is “through the arts, [to] provide life-enhancing experiences” and that’s pretty much what they do here.

 

This is a show to make the Muses proud. The old, sad story of boy meets girls, boy has wife, boy kills wife, girl takes rap, is told with all the dramatically charged nuances of film noir – all by a single performer on a set of packing cases.

 

As with most of The Kosh’s work, it is a beautiful, multi-disciplinary amalgam – of, in this case, drama and physical theatre, wonderfully layered soundtrack and creative staging. There is an acrobatic adagio on a horizontal ladder that would make Cirque du Soleil envious. There is even ventriloquism.

Sian Williams – who co-founded The Kosh in 1982 – is both tragic showgirl and dastardly playboy. In fact in some terrific sequences, she is both simultaneously. She is also acrobat and ventriloquist.

 

The Storeroom is one of these wonderful theatrical creations where you lose sight of any separation between the piece and the performer. Together with Alastair Gavin’s beautiful, layered soundscape, they become one.

 

Williams is a breathtakingly powerful performer. Whether spoken, sung or physically expressed, you never miss what she tells you. During the adagio sequence on the ladder, I don’t remember breathing or hearing a single sound except Gavin’s piano. And, let’s face it, we are on Teviot Square, so that is just not possible.

 

In a time of technical tyranny, a show like this reminds us of the power of theatre. The story is slight, and simply, classically told, but the imagination and skill in the telling are what binds you to your seat. This beautiful little show is why you should be coming to the Fringe. When was the last time you had your life enhanced for £7.50?

 

Kate Copstick, Augist 2009