THE BEASTS from The Great Ben Egerman Theatre Adventure! as part of the 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
There is great potential in Ben Egerman’s THE BEASTS, a sort of an apocalyptic cautionary fairy tale. Parallel story lines have characters debating the same action, opening “the door” that separates their worlds.
The use of puppets, as well as the hand-drawn illustrations, work well. As does the confusion over “archaeological finds” when the written word has been lost to time. A bit more exposition about the current world and some physical and sexual diversity to the characters would add layers to the show.
Perhaps the biggest problem is the pacing. Every time the actor leaves the stage for a costume change, any momentum that has been built is lost. It might also help the keep the entire performance on the stage. I think the audience is savvy enough to understand which side of the door they are on without having to repeatedly shift in their seats. I would have liked one more scene to serve as a coda for the piece as the current ending seems a bit abrupt.
One thing that clearly stands out is Egerman’s enthusiasm for what he does and for being part of the creative, communal energy of the Fringe.
Three performances remain of THE BEASTS at Media Bridges:
- Mon, June 6 at 8pm
- Fri, June 10 at 9:30pm
- Sat, June 11 at 7:30pm
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