Reviews from the 2oo8 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
“The superb seven-strong cast take us on a journey that’s hard to forget…
don’t be surprised to find yourself laughing and crying at the same time…
Farmanesh-Bocca is a formidable talent.”
“A truly exceptional show…I left the theatre elated - this is an absolute must-see”
Critic’s Choice - Top 4 Picks of the Fringe
CRITIC’S PICK – TOP 10 PICK FOR THE FINAL WEEK!
“Physical comedy is definitely a strength for Not Man Apart.
John Farmanesh-Bocca carries the weight of the titular and more serious character of Pericles, gracefully, combining both the light-hearted with the grave. The reunion with his daughter is very moving.”
“Joyously Daft! It's witty, well thought through and visually imaginative…
Farmanesh-Bocca – who scooped a Fringe First Award directing last year's
Wish I Had A Sylvia Plath – confirms himself as an exciting, innovative talent.”
Director John Farmanesh-Bocca has done an excellent job of creating a beautiful production… helped along by a brilliant seven strong cast… a stunning production and well worth the fantastic word of mouth praise it has been receiving.
“A fusion of muscularity, humour and verse” –
“A ballet of virile agility… the movement is so impressive” – Broadway Baby
“The endless tossing storms to which Pericles is subjected are beautifully realized…
This cast is very skilled and have genuine physical prowess” –
|Cobblestones @ Main Beach, Laguna Beach, CA
The Scotsman – U.K. Review
The full 5 Star Review by Kelly Apter
Not Man Apart - Physical Theatre Ensemble
AS WITH most Shakespearean works, it can take a few minutes to ease yourself into the language of Pericles Redux, to get your head around who's who, where they're going and what they're going to do when they get there – especially if you're not familiar with the original play. During this early talk of kings, governors and far-off lands, Californian theatre company Not A Man Apart keep us going with the sheer physicality of movement. Then, once we're engrossed in the storyline, the goods just keep on coming. Character after character is rolled out, each different from the last, brought sharply to life by the superb seven-strong cast.
For those without prior knowledge, Pericles is the tale of a prince forced to flee his homeland by an incestuous king. Traveling from city to city, he finds new friends and, eventually, a wife and child, until tragedy strikes, leaving him bereft of both – or so he thinks.
This tragicomic play is ripe with potential – all of which director John Farmanesh-Bocca exploits to the full. Moments of athletic dance pepper the action without a hint of incongruity, with lifts and jumps serving only to drive the show along. What captures us most, however, is the extremity of emotion. One moment the air is thick with heartbreaking poignancy, the next it's almost panto-esque with hilarious characterisation. And as the story reaches its climax, don't be surprised to find yourself laughing and crying at the same time.
Using minimal set, the show relies more on its actors – and their costumes – for its striking appearance. The shaven heads of three of the men can't fail to have an impact, especially when one of them plays jealous mother, Dionyaza, literally dressed to kill in red cocktail dress and high heels.
As the beleaguered prince, Farmanesh-Bocca is a formidable talent, and leads his cast, and us, on a journey hard to forget.
Three Weeks – U.K. Review
The full 5 Star Review by Frances Allen
Not Man Apart - Physical Theatre Ensemble
When I see a truly exceptional show, I feel I need about 2,000 words to do it justice, and this is certainly the case with this performance. Combining comedy, dance, physical theatre and tragedy, this production ticks every box and gets it spot on. Each actor was superb, their characterisation was great, their mimes were incredible, and dance and physical elements were outstanding. The comedic moments were perfectly pitched, and the costume changes were the fastest I have ever seen. At the end the story is shown in reverse very quickly which is an interesting, unusual and successful idea. I left feeling elated - this is an absolute must see.