In Snails and Ketchup, Glasgow-based Singaporean Ramesh Meyyappan tells the dark tale of a dysfunctional family through solo mime. The plot is loosely based on Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees, in which a boy chooses an arboreal existence alone in the forest, living alongside the snails he has befriended, over the cruelty and heartache of his home environment. The story ends in tragedy, but along the way there are delightful, humorous and lighter moments aplenty.The set is cleverly designed with aerial ropes soon establishing themselves as the trees and vines through which Ramesh swings to the solace of his treetop perch. His highly physical storytelling style is rich in detail, but perhaps most impressive is his ability to embody caricatures to the extent that even as he plays out the mother’s twin birth, the audience are gasping along with him. He captures and communicates intricate emotions with precision and his physical state is always equally matched by powerful facial expression. The narrative, however, is underdeveloped and mostly unclear, and we rely heavily on the programme notes, distributed before the performance, to decipher the stage action.Though this is a well-paced work, the movement vocabulary is relatively limited and soon becomes repetitive. As we struggle to follow the flow of events, the piece seems to go round in circles, lacking a strong sense of direction and leaving us feeling somewhat distant. Narrative aside, the show is held together by Ramesh’s unbounded energy and absolute commitment to the tale.