A surreal treat

The Man I Cure, Fat Content Theatre Company, Pulse Festival, Town Hall Galleries, Ipswich, June 8.

Surreal dream-like images dominate this very entertaining, darkly comic production which is apparently based on a Russian fairy tale called The Soldier and Death.

The audience who turned up for this performance were lined up in rows and led upstairs by maniacal “nurses” into a wartime sanatorium where they were given glasses of milk and macaroni.

Through a window of the building emerged a soldier who, it seemed, had just had an altercation with death and was in need of care as well as copious amounts of milk – the life-giving cure-all to be swallowed and rubbed into the skin, along with hard boiled eggs, in a series of incidents reminiscent of slapstick in the old silent films.

The three-strong cast of Anna Beecher, Daniel Holme and Rachel Lincoln led the audience along a roller-coaster experience in the best tradition of the theatre-of- the-absurd, a mix of physical theatre, music, poetry and dance. Stunts were well executed and the actors maintained a slick focus throughout.

A very original piece of theatre – funny on the surface but with a dark underlay of loneliness and repression.

David Green