Once Pathos: Can You Kill for Love? hits its stride, it is an enjoyable and moving performance. However, the showstarts with its weakest material, and for the first ten minutes, I was concerned as to what I had got myself into. At the show’s opening, we are presented with a mime in which two children meet and fall in love. Physically, the performance was fine. However, where there would usually be spoken words, we were instead treated to an increasingly grating series of squeaks, which reminded me unfortunately and irresistibly of Pingu.
Visually, some of the performances are among the most stunning that I have seen at the Fringe.
Luckily, from then on the show began to improve dramatically, dealing subtly and intelligently with its subject matter. Pathos is a series of free-standing pieces of physical theatre, united by the theme of the destructive power of romantic and sexual love.
Throughout, images are projected onto the backdrop, sometimes merely echoing the themes being covered by the two live actors, sometimes interacting with them. At their best, these are beautifully done and highly moving. At their worst, they feel a little cartoonish. However, they are consistently timed well with the musical accompaniment to the show, which contributes greatly to its atmosphere.
Visually, some of the performances are among the most stunning that I have seen at the Fringe. The two performers move well together and the different pieces are varied enough that the performance does not become monotonous. Having said that, this variation does mean that some are better than others and some pieces are just not quite good enough to justify their length.
In all, this show is a highly varied one. At times it captures something wonderful. At others it verges on the ridiculous.