Folly, by Sally Jenkinson and Nuala Honan, Ferment Fornight, Bristol Old Vic

Jenkinson is a poet and ‘wordsmith’ and Honan is a musician, song writer and composer. Folly brought them together to create a fairly unusual performance of poetry spoken over music, almost like a Streets song. I saw this performance as part of Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment Fortnight. A biannual event run by the “development arm” of the centrally based Theatre, showcasing work in varying degrees of development.

What worked was the composition of the poetry, easy to listen to, written in an honest and uncomplicated fashion. With a natural rhythm and rhyme that didn’t seem forced. The general content, someone traveling around Asia trying to work out something about life, was interesting, moving, a little comical, yet still generic enough to mean something to most people.

What also worked was the beautiful and seemingly spontaneous live guitar played by Honan throughout. It gave the piece a unique sound, and set the scene, changing the mood of the scene a times.

I wasn’t sure however about the staging, it seemed a little over complicated. There was a film that had been specially made for the piece with scenes of rural Asia playing through out. There was also a suitcase and Jenkinson took things out at various times and placed it on a make shift tree to one side of the stage. I found this distracting from the absorption in the words.

The film was interesting and created a visual element, but I don’t think anything else was needed.

I would like the story to go a little deeper and would love to see this show again in a smaller space where I was physically closer to the two ladies. I left the show feeling as though I had been taken on a journey of enlightenment myself, and want to share that experience again but this time, I want it to be more vivid.

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About jesselewreviews

Writing a little more every day.
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