Writer: Oliver Lansley
Directors: Oliver Lansley and James Seager
Reviewer: Marina Spark
After a hugely successful run with The Trench at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and a subsequent UK tour, Les Enfants Terribles return triumphantly to the Fringe with the same show, wowing audiences once again with their innovative and creative take on storytelling. The Trench follows the journey of a miner named Bert, caught in a collapsed WWI trench tunnel in an original, if not a little predictable, story written by Oliver Lansley. Through Bert’s attempts to escape he finds himself facing creatures of terrifying countenance but eventually finds peace in an extraordinary way.
The five strong actor-musician cast are shrewd storytellers, creating a fearsome underworld of the imagination through the use of puppetry, live music, verse and physical theatre.
The puppets are suitably frightening and used to good effect. The vocal skills of the three ‘chorus’ actors lend themselves well to the creation of the mythical creatures. The energy and ability of the chorus, made up of Ed Cartwright, Alexander Scott and Elliott Rennie, holds the whole tale together with strength and purpose.
Burt, the protagonist, played by Ben Warwick, has a soul filled with anguish, not only due to his dire situation but because of the terrible news he suffers just prior to the tunnel collapsing, almost causing him to lose the hope that he once had. Warwick plays Bert with sensitivity and feeling, drawing a great deal of empathy from the audience.
The music, written and played live by renowned musician and composer Alexander Wolfe, was haunting and affecting. The addition of Wolfe’s live music was a touch of genius as it adds a personal touch that many other storytelling companies of a similar ilk lack, setting Les Enfants Terribles apart as leaders in their field.
Well worth a watch at the Edinburgh Fringe if you can get your hands on a ticket.
Runs until Mon, 26th Aug, then touring.