Edinburgh – Petrol

Zoo, just up from the Pleasance Courtyard is one of those Fringe venues you really fall in love with.  Intimate, familiar and with excellent programming, over the years I’ve seen many innovative physical theatre shows here and I’ll always come back.  This time it’s Petrol from Italian company Fabbrica del Vento.

Apart from occasional bursts of Radiohead’s ‘Fitter Happier’ and a controlling siren, this piece is performed mainly in silence.  A man and a woman inhabit a binary, controlled, black and white world, their faces obscured by industrial masks.  Quite a challenge then to convey emotion, but that’s one of the achievements in this piece, that their tiny movements are so expressive.

The man and woman go through a day in their life, waking up, having coffee and then going to work, where every action is repetitive and controlled.  There is a keen sense of adhering to the rules, and also the frustration therein.  Only in the evening/later life do they find some sort of release to a more colourful world, and it is this contrast that makes the piece.

This type of physical theatre won’t be to everyone’s taste.  It requires sufficient concentration to pick out the tiny nuances, and an appreciation of the movement and visual humour.  But it’s an impressive show, and if this is your thing, it’s one not to be missed.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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