FOXES MATE FOR LIFE AND OTHER STORIES
17/02/2014 - 21/02/2014
Foxes mate for life and Elephants have funerals. This collection of four short stories which explore a universal rhythm through how animals and humans do the same things.
Come on a journey with us through the storybook world.
People’s Cinema, 57 Manners Street, Wellington CBD
8.30pm, 17-21 Feb
FREE / KOHA
Channel your inner kid
Review by Lucy O'Connor 18th Feb 2014
We are lead into a room by a human with fox ears on. To get to this room we wind through doors, loop around sets, step up stairs and end up finally in the right location which is surrounded by draping curtains and laden with beanbags and cushions for comfort. Being there early as always, I score myself an actual chair.
All the people involved in the show are wearing fox ears. One performer sings on a box top and another plays the guitar while we get settled. As people arrive, they see the seating arrangements, look at us with slight jealously and settle on to the nearest comfort-intended item to sit on. The music may help in lightening the mood. Within minutes however, people lean on each other and take off their shoes as if it’s home. Maybe I’m the one who lucked out.
Eight performers walk on stage donning fox ears. The story is set with Child Fox asking Father Fox how he met her Mother. Does this sound like a series to you? What follows is the cutest tale of love, of life and of loss – all too human. But it is true! Foxes do mate for life, just as humans (supposedly) do.
I am well impressed by the set in this story. All the actors assist in creating the changing set and they flow on from another beautifully. Unexpected items make for the best of props. A wooden frame doubles as a camera and the foxes pose into it. Behind them, cardboard cut outs of famous landmarks are switched out and people bang on the wood to signify the clicking camera. This is particularly cute in any love story, let alone one about foxes.
All the while, the guitarist who welcomed us in plays music to match the emotion of the scene. He has a tambourine around his ankle and occasionally utilizes the wood around him as percussion.
Three tales follow, and these again tell of the antics and rituals certain animals share with humans. These animals are salmon, elephants and lizards. I’ll leave you to find out why.
The last story unfortunately loses me, as I must have missed the parallel; but otherwise I get the uncanny resemblance. Emotion is portrayed well in the elephant scene. If I could stop seeing the ‘trunk’ literally, as a vacuum cleaner nozzle I think, I would be able to feel my heartstrings a bit more. I must be getting old.
The idea is extremely cute and the enthusiasm of the performers is apparent. They look to be having fun and while it doesn’t always run as smoothly as intended, the zest they have makes us all feel at ease. I think some opening night jitters get to the performers as sometimes they talk over each other excitedly. It seems like a loose script, which definitely works for this type of show but could be a bit more fine-tuned in future.
I can’t help but think that this would be perfect for a children’s library (minus the R rated dinosaur scene!). With relatable emotions, characters, an ever changing set and a variety of actors, I feel like I am back at primary school watching a lunchtime performance.
The highlight for me is definitely the musician. Without his flow and his constant presence, the scene changes would be a heap more awkward as we would have literally been watching furniture shift – a talented distraction!
If you happen to be in town and have some restless children to distract or feel like channelling your own inner kid, it’s definitely worth popping in to town to see what all the cute foxes lurking about Manners Street are about.
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