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Fox and Symphony at the Battersea Arts Centre

Published by: Carolin Kopplin on 16th Feb 2016 | View all blogs by Carolin Kopplin

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You say bagels and I say beigels ...

The Battersea Arts Centre is one of the most innovative and intriguing theatres in London, hosting companies such as Ridiculusmus and Theatre Ad Infinitum and brilliantly subversive artists like Chris Brett Bailey. Slowly recovering from the devasting fire that destroyed a third of the building and the main auditorium, the BAC is going strong and Artistic Director David Jubb is trying his best to restore the erstwhile town hall to its former glory, brick by brick. Meanwhile the remaining spaces within the building are put to good use.

Foxy and Husk is a performance artist, a human/fox hybrid, that combines theatre with cabaret and interactive films. Her previous show Fox Solo won high critical acclaim and toured internationally. Her new show Fox Symphony is a compilation of stories by members of the public about their relationship to national identity and community. Foxy travelled across the UK for six months, interviewing people and recording their statements. The show weaves together some of these narratives to create a portrait of contemporary Britain.

The show begins with a projection on the curtain ordering us to rise. As we get up, God Save the Queen is sung by an invisible choir and lip-synched by Foxy. Yet the text is slightly changed as the hymn goes on and gets quite a few laughs from the audience. As we sit down, Foxy presents a hard rock classic, rocking across the stage. Soon we meet the first interviewees, all played by Foxy in various guises as she lip-synchs the text so well that you hardly notice that the voices actually are recordings. The stories are intertwined with musical numbers to make the performance even more varied and entertaining. The performer has a splendid rapport with her audience and there is some very mild audience participation.

Foxy portrays every single character in her solo show. If there is more than one character, you will find one Foxy on the stage and a few more Foxies on film, playing musical numbers together - Foxy also masters a variety of instruments - or sharing their stories with us. Foxy's characters represent many different facets of Britain - a middle-class English woman, a Scot and an Irishman, recent immigrants, a Jewish Londoner who loves his beigels and shares his story over jellied eel in a Pie & Eel Shop, or a woman who doesn't want to be posh. Foxy she also devotes some time to the quintessential Londoners and city dwellers: the London foxes. 

This is an unusual and quirky show presented by a skilled and original artist. 

By Carolin Kopplin 

Until 17th February 2016

Battersea Arts Centre

Age Recommendation: 12+

Running time: 60 minutes

Further information on the artist and touring dates: www.foxyandhusk.com 

Image by Manuel Vason.

Comments

2 Comments

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 1 year ago
    Thanks, Carolin. Your coverage of fringe theatre is second to none! Great review.
  • Carolin Kopplin
    by Carolin Kopplin 1 year ago
    Thank you.
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