Fringe Festival Review: Big Story, Small Space

By Janet McAllister

Add a comment
 Big Story, Small Space . Image / Supplied
Big Story, Small Space . Image / Supplied

As its name suggests, Big Story, Small Space is ambitious, perhaps too ambitious - but then, a "let's give it a go" attitude is one of the appeals of a Fringe festival.

The small space is a fun novelty; a capacity audience of 40 is crammed into a black cloth cube, around a performance space of 1.2 x 1.2 metres.

The big story is the "War of Currents" business tussle between bullyboy Thomas Edison and his fellow inventor Nikola Tesla in the lead-up to the Chicago World Fair of 1893.

Like a film, the tale is told in lots of short scenes, with the unnecessarily large cast of six sporting a variety of 19th century suits and hats.

A 21st century physics student is our narrating guide, leading to a Back To The Future style sci-fi ending which, given the small space, is more successful than the earlier realist style.

Bemusingly, the historic story has no climax or conclusion but simply disappears, lickety-split.

Overall, the acting, pacing and accents overall have the uneven quality of an undergraduate show, but Roberto Nascimento is suitably subtle and expressive as the quiet Tesla, and red-bearded showman Ben Cragg livens things up immensely as Westinghouse, borrowing a wine glass from an audience member for a party scene.

The old-school machinery props and contraptions, created by art director Pritika Lal with assistance from Linh Pham, are amusingly inventive, incorporating egg beaters, plastic cups and a dustpan.

It would be interesting to see what this group could do with clearer goals in mind and more preparation time.

*Big Story, Small Space runs till Friday at The Basement Theatre

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 26 Nov 2015 07:37:46 Processing Time: 348ms