Consequence

August 4, 2020 | By | Reply More

★★☆  Sharply crystalline

Fringe of Colour: Streaming Sat 1 – Fri 7 Aug 2020
Review by Hugh Simpson

Consequence is a beautifully limpid and thoughtfully imaginative online offering from Fringe regular Mara Menzies.

The story – playing as one of the first weekly set of films featuring on the Fringe of Colour website – starts with Leyris, a young woman fleeing a plantation who is wondering whether she has made the right decision. She is herself then told a story that chimes with the themes of choices and their consequences.

Mara Menzies in Consequence. Screengrab: Thom Dibdin

Clocking in at just 23 minutes and a ‘talking head’ rather than Menzies’s more expansively choreographed theatrical persona, it would be easy to suppose that this would be a more limited production. This is undoubtedly not the case – being such an accomplished storyteller, she adapts superbly to the format.

There are certain limitations. She does seem to want to burst out of the screen on occasion, but soon settles into what is often reminiscent of those storytelling performances on children’s TV several generations have grown up with. This is not meant as a criticism. Indeed, it is a great compliment, as the warmly personal stance adopted here is educational without being didactic. This characterises the best performers in that genre, is far more difficult than is often supposed, and is achieved here brilliantly.

magnetic

There are a couple of technical drawbacks – the join between the framing story and the tale Leyris is told is handled superbly, but the first section was obviously not filmed in one take and there are a couple of awkward jump cuts.

These are decidedly minor criticisms, however, as the overall effect is magnetic. This is the work of an expert storyteller, with the structure of the performance being all the cleverer for seeming so natural, and the lessons contained within being all the more powerful for being so delivered.

Running time: 23 minutes
A Fringe of Colour Commission
Streaming from Saturday 1 – Friday 7 August 2020
at: https://www.fringeofcolour.co.uk/discover-shows
A Standard Pass to access the films on the website throughout the festival costs £10.

ENDS

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