Venue: Big Belly
Director: Richard Perryman
No one from the village has ever left the tree before. Out there is only White and certain death by the Beast whom “no one survives”. But then comes Crab (Jasmine Woodcock-Stewart) in her blue scarf and green hat. Wonderfully named Crab’s itchy feet get the better of reason and she escapes the tree in search of colour.
Where the White Stops is a balmy relief from the hordes of desperate comics and uncomfortable theatre Fringe is flooded with. Taking an ancient human conundrum and refreshing it is a risky move that would be easy to make trite and dry. Antler Theatre frame beautifully this perennial idea of believing more is out there with stunningly organic creativity.
One cannot help but feel a hint of irony in the use of a purely black stage to depict whiteness. This move is typical of the performance, the characters themselves the bones of a performance dependent on utilising impressively effective innovations to manipulate the imagination with witty precision.
Comedy ensures the audience’s attention is firmly ensnared. The innocent humour is a pleasure to giggle at, characters receiving bigger and bigger laughs in accordance with the rising affection they engender in the audience. All four multi-role actors fit the roles with ease and grace. Mute Yeti-like Woodwo (Nasi Voutsas) is a highlight: I wanted very much to be folded in his furry embrace.
Alongside humour startlingly lovely singing twirls an eerie whistling-wind grace about the actors. The sound is emblematic of elegant characters shining through seemingly bumbling exteriors.
Some of the more abstract actions may confuse audience members, but believability and verisimilitude are not the aims of this production. The marriage between ridiculous and endearing is perfect, and none will fail to be amused by this exceptional production.