BWW Reviews: LUCY AND THE HAWK, Ovalhouse Theatre, October 13 2012

BWW Reviews: LUCY AND THE HAWK, Ovalhouse Theatre, October 13 2012

When you, er, really, listen to what, you know, people say - what, they're actually, er, yes - saying. No. Yes. They say, actually, say more and - really a lot, a real lot - less than we er, what is it now? Hear.

Lucy and the Hawk (at the Ovalhouse Theatre until 27 October) is part-performance art, part-mime, part-soundscape, part-, well, plenty of other stuff - with the difficulties of communication (especially through the hesitancies and imperfections of the spoken word) at its heart. Lucy (Abigail Moffat) is alone and half-wanting, half-dreading the telephone's insistent trill and the desperate voice of her ex-boyfriend / stalker - there's a dilemma between being wanted a bit too much and being wanted not at all. Elliott (Tom Walton), equally alone living in a tent, flies a kite and spies a hawk, a hawk that he becomes, soaring and hovering, hunting its prey and then snapping its victim's neck.

The piece, devised by the performers and writer-director Phil Ormrod, does not play by the conventions of narrative drama. The words spoken twist and turn and repeat - like a hawk in flight - with the story carried as much by the sounds, the movement and the lighting. There's work for the audience too, as scenes shift from Lucy to Elliott and Elliott goes from human to hawk. There aren't many laughs (always a quibble of mine with performance art type pieces) and the repetitions and structure won't appeal to everyone, but it's gratifying to know that even this deep into a recession, there's room for work like this in London.   

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Gary Naylor Gary Naylor is chief reviewer for westend.broadwayworld.com and feels privileged to see so much of London's theatre.

He writes about cricket at nestaquin.wordpress.com and also for The Guardian, Spin Cricket and Channel Five and commentates at testmatchsofa.com. His writing on films and other subjects is at tootingtrumpet.wordpress.com.

Comments are always welcome.


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