09 Edinburgh Guide - 13Aug09

The Kosh in The Storeroom Review, Gilded Balloon Teviot

Three theatrical trunks of a certain age dominate the space, from behind which Sian Williams emerges in quasi-bondage leather to explore the memories of her character's ‘storeroom'.

Film noir and the pulp novel inform much of the background to The Storeroom, in which Williams subtly explores male fantasies, female "masochism" and subordination in a (male) capitalist world. Her character re-lives the events which have led her to a charge of murder and ten years imprisonment, although it is at least implied that her real imprisonment has been in the memories lurking in her personal "storeroom".

From childhood to "released" prisoner, Williams fully realised character ranges across years and emotions using a well-charged palette of physical theatre and choreographic techniques to achieve a remarkable unity of both characterisation and production.

A strong choice of appropriate music, selected from such diverse talents as Charlie Chaplin and Lou Reed contribute greatly to the ambience of the piece, and Williams accepts the invitations of each with grace and inventiveness.

The Kosh verge on being a Fringe institution, if such description is not a contradiction in terms, yet manage to remain fresh and innovative on each encounter. The Storeroom is certainly a piece which Angela Carter, as author of The Sadeian Woman would thoroughly approve, but it also offers many delights to the rest of us, and ensures we are never less than fully engaged with Williams performance.

The clear politics of the piece never over-intrude on the storyline, making The Storeroom clear cousin to the best of 1930's and 1940's genre writing and film-making. This truthfulness mirrors the integrity of Williams' characterisation and performance. Always a joy to see, this production by The Kosh is certainly one to watch.


Bill Dunlop, 13Aug09 (EdinburghGuide.com)