Flesh Eating Tiger

Flesh Eating Tiger is a frequently over-complicated little beast but one that prides itself on confusing its audience. Taking a damaging heterosexual relationship between a writer and an actress as its centre, the piece combines metatheatre and the absurd to create a somewhat baffling fifty-five minute network of scenes. Considering the pretentious premise, it is surprising that the show enjoys moments of poking fun at Beckett and the theatre of the absurd. This is just one part of a larger satirical comment on the self-indulgence of writers but it is by far the most effective technique.In other parts, the play is guilty of the dramatic pitfalls that it satirises. The structure is successful in conveying the scrambled mind of the protagonist but this doesn’t account for the play’s incoherence, which unquestionably alienates its audience. The script does attempt to hold the audience’s attention with occasional scenes of clear, naturalistic dialogue but the writing is never skilled enough to seem authentic. Instead the script is often clichéd, as lines of forced poetic language and unnecessarily long words seem to be included solely with the purpose of impressing us.Redemption comes in the form of Sam Breen as the male half of the couple. Despite having to repeatedly anguish over his shortcomings (the writing can be annoyingly self-loathing), Breen makes the character immensely likeable and engaging. He has an air of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, at once endearing and pathetic, and his charisma on stage is enough to carry the production through its shakiest moments.The direction too makes the best of a poor script (the irony being that it’s written and directed by the same person). The production is rarely dull, the blocking is energetic and witless lines are delivered with good comic intonation, it just struggles to convey something tangible. There are too many ideas here to allow for their development. To this moment I’m still not sure how the title matches the piece.

Reviews by Sam Kingston-Jones

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The Blurb

Viciously dark humour chronicles an affair under the influence. He struggles with sobriety, she becomes increasingly addicted to his affection. We wouldn’t do these horrible things if they weren’t so much fun.

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