It’s an old trick seen may times before: someone crawls along the floor, someone films them sideways and they look, on camera, like they are climbing up a wall. I was cynical that such a simple concept would hold water stretched out over an hour-long show, but how wrong I was. Using projections and live action side-by-side on stage Tobias Wegner creates one of the most unique and brilliant pieces of physical theatre I have ever seen.
Starting out in a room occupying one half of the stage, alone, the character begins to play with the space and is gradually forced towards one wall, eventually realising that gravity is no longer in play and he can move unencumbered by the rules of physics. While starting out simply, the sequence gets more and more surreal and absurd as the man’s simple suitcase becomes a jukebox of unlimited music every time he opens it, leading to exhilarating and physically incredible dance sequences, including the swoon-inducing highlight of a jazz song and dance routine to Frank Sinatra’s I’ve Got The World On A String, complete with flips and trilby-tossing.
While you can watch all this on the projection screen and be amazed by the anti-gravity antics of our lone hero, some of the real magic comes from being able to see Wegner himself live in the space, proving himself to be a true athlete and performer. Every move is precisely choreographed and endlessly impressive.
While the story begins with the character playing around with his new found abilities, the intensity is heightened tenfold in the last section of the performance. The character’s struggle to escape the room and comprehend what is happening descends into a Kafka-esque solitary struggle to understand his surroundings. The intensity of Wegner’s physical performance and the use of dynamic and unsettling music creates an incredible montage of struggle and unrest, coming to an incredible climax.
This is one of the few shows at the Fringe for which description does not do it justice – I urge you to go and see Wegner push the boundaries of theatre and space in this clever and intriguing show.